Teacher Resources

The Bostonian Society offers a range of educational resources, including lesson plans, primary documents and school programs. To schedule a school program or a visit to the Old State House Museum, please check out Group Visits and Programs.

Essay Contest

Win a FREE Boston Duck Tour and a Visit to the Old State House for Your Class

To promote an appreciation for our state's history, The Bostonian Society and Boston Duck Tours sponsor a yearly essay contest for greater Boston area school children in grades 5-8. Students in grades 5-6 are invited to submit an essay of 300-500 words; students in grades 7-8 are asked to submit an essay of 500-700 words. The First Place student in each grade group receives a Duck Tour and a visit to the Old State House for his/her class (up to 36 people including chaperones). Winning schools are responsible for providing transportation to Boston for the Duck Tour and visit to the Old State House. The tour must be booked for a date no later than May 31, 2014. 

This year we are asking students to submit an essay related to the Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Regiment, which was organized 150 years ago in 1863. We are not looking for an essay on the general history of the regiment, but rather an essay on a particular aspect of the regiment. For example: the factors and events that made it possible to recruit a regiment of all-black soldiers during the Civil War; the controversy over unequal pay for the black soldiers; or the regiment's actions at the battle of Fort Wagner. Students could also write an essay on the life of one of the officers or enlisted men who served in the 54th Regiment. 

Feel free to contact Jim Healy at Boston Duck Tours if you have any questions about the essay topic. Jim may be reached at 617-438-4915 or by email. Entries should be received no later than November 4, 2013. Send entries to Jim Healy, Boston Duck Tours, 4 Copley Place #4155, Boston, MA 02116.

Judges for the 2012 Essay Contest will be Martin Blatt, Supervisory Historian, Boston National Historical Park; Professor Robert Allison, Chair, Suffolk University History Department; and Nat Sheidley, Director of Public History, The Bostonian Society.

For more information about Boston Duck Tours, please visit their website by clicking here.



Boston Massacre Primary Documents

The following kits are designed to provide primary sources about the Boston Massacre that can be incorporated into the classroom. Each kit provides primary documents as well as suggested classroom activities that can be adapted for multiple grade levels.

Boston Massacre Game

An educational tool, this web site is designed as an investigative game for upper elementary and middle-school students. Using images of the event and testimony from the trials, students learn about this incident, its historical significance and how it was used to further the Patriot cause.

Click here to play the game