Witness History Brought to Life

Dive into Revolutionary history through a range of educational resources at the Old State House, including lesson plans, primary documents, and school programs.

School Tours and Group visits

Click here to schedule a school program or a visit to the Old State House Museum. You can select a program and book online!

Revolutionary Characters

Using this website, you can explore over 100 Characters. Browse the profiles of everyone from Abigail Adams to William Scott; read about their lives, see who they are connected to and share pages with your friends.

In the summer, you can meet a few of these characters on one of our tours

Boston Massacre Lesson Plan Kits

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.


2016 Essay Contest

Win a $1000 scholarship, plus 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, with the support of Revolution 250, sponsor a yearly essay contest for greater Boston area school children in grades 5-8. Students in grades 5-6 are asked 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). In addition, the author of the winning essay in the grades 7-8 category will receive a $1,000 scholarship payable upon acceptance to an institution of higher education.  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, 2017.

Many in Boston and Massachusetts remained loyal to the crown in the years before and during the American Revolution. Some of these men and women had opposed the policies of Parliament and the King but could not bring themselves to support American independence. 

In your essay, explore what motivated the loyalists to remain committed to supporting the king. A strong essay would consider:

•    Who were some of those loyalists? How did their life experiences influence their decision? 

•    What historic sites in Massachusetts preserve the loyalist story? Who's perspective do they represent?

Feel free to contact Jim Healy at Boston Duck Tours if you have any questions about the essay contest. Jim may be reached at 617-438-4915 or

Entries should be received no later than November 4, 2016. Please include the student’s name, grade, teacher’s name, school, and school address on the front page. The student’s name should be on each subsequent page. Send entries to Jim Healy, Boston Duck Tours, 4 Copley Place #4155, Boston, MA 02116

Judges for the 2016 Essay Contest will be Martin Blatt, PhD, History Department, Northeastern University; Professor Robert Allison, PhD, History Department, Suffolk University; and Nat Sheidley. PhD, Director of Public History, The Bostonian Society.

The Bostonian Society operates the Old State House as an historic site and museum. Built in 1713, the Old State House was the seat of colonial government, home to the Massachusetts Assembly, the Supreme Court of the Colony and the office of the Royal Governor. It was here that many of the basic principles of American democracy, later enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, were first expressed. John Adams described it as the site where “the child Independence was born.” The Bostonian Society seeks to foster an understanding of the world-changing ideas and events associated with the Old State House, and the ways in which they influence our lives today. The Society was founded in 1881 to save the Old State House from demolition; since that time the Society has preserved the structure and kept it open to the public as a museum dedicated to Boston’s Revolutionary history.

Revolution 250 is a growing consortium of organizations in the city of Boston who have come together to celebrate, commemorate, and interpret the 250th anniversary of the events culminating in the American Revolution.