Third Grade Portsmouth History Program Celebrates Tenth Year

“Fun and accessible local history”

Third Grade History Program, Portsmouth Historical SocietyPortsmouth Historical Society created its Third Grade Portsmouth History Program in 2006 to increase understanding and enthusiasm for local history by sending our PHS educator into local classrooms for an-depth, year round educational experience. The educator develops relationships during nine visits with each class, culminating in a field trip through Portsmouth. This exposure and continuity helps children understand that local history is fun and accessible. Our solid program has strong credibility and substantial teacher support; and has the added benefit of preparing students for the state of New Hampshire’s fourth grade state history program.

The classroom format includes discussion, power point visual presentations, and objects such as dried fish, reproduction money and documents, clothing, etc. The objective is to provide students (and teachers) with basic facts about early Portsmouth history and to encourage them to think about what life and work were like for its early citizens. Topics include:

  • We Came to Fish—the early history of fishing at the Isles of Shoals, Settlement at Strawbery Banke and conflict with Native Americans
  • Colonial Industry Begets Wealthy Merchants
  • American Revolution in Portsmouth and the role of John Paul Jones
  • African Americans in early Portsmouth—Enslaved and Free
  • The Great Fires of Portsmouth

After the in-class sessions, the school takes a field trip to a selection of historic houses towards the end of the school year, typically the Warner House, Moffatt Ladd House and Garden, the Jackson House, and our own John Paul Jones House. Children are able to make connections to past teachings through objects and architecture. Classes then enjoy a picnic, and frequently return with family.

For more information, please call Discover Portsmouth at 603-436-8433.

Read the Seacoast News article Oct 18