School Programs

The History of Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore is the History of Virginia and the United States of America

Young George Washington and the Cherry TreeGive your students the opportunity to understand the early ideas and events that shaped the American spirit by walking in the footsteps of some of history’s most significant individuals.

One of the strengths of these programs is the use of primary-source research material. The lessons incorporate letters, estate inventories, wills, and diaries, as well as artifacts found in the archaeology digs. Strategies to create “crosswalks” from today’s world to yesterday are also employed.

The George Washington Foundation’s goal is to partner with schools to enhance educational experiences for students. Whether you visit Historic Kenmore and/or Ferry Farm, we offer hands-on, interactive, multidisciplinary activities for students.

In-School Programs are also available.

Please see below

Historic Kenmore Programs

Kenmore Plantation is composed of the museum gallery, refurbished kitchen, gardens, and the mansion. The programs are designed to assist classroom teachers to develop their students' historical literacy. Interactive, hands-on activities allow students to understand history in a fun, learning environment.

A Bird’s-eye View of the 18th Century

“We all loved the kitchen; the fact that the kids could be actively involved with the learning. The kids loved ‘touching’ the items in the kitchen.” – 1st grade teacher, Rocky Run Elementary, Stafford County, VA Students take a trip back in time to peek at the lives of the Lewis family at Kenmore Plantation in 1775. Did the people of the 18th century live like us? What are the similarities? What are the differences? How did they prepare meals? How did they dress? What games did the children play? Students discover the answers to these questions as they explore Kenmore house, kitchen dependency, gallery and grounds. Hands-on/ minds-on activities give students the opportunity to learn about colonial buildings, clothing, music, cooking, manners, occupations and children.
Grades K-3
History and Social Science SOLs: K.1, K.2, K.6, 1.1, 1.2, 2.3, 2.11
Fine Arts SOLs: 1.12, 2.22


Revolutionary Perspectives: Difficult Choices/ Life Changing Decisions

“SOLs were thoroughly covered. The students left with a good understanding of the differences in family life, school, and communities.” – 1st grade teacher, Smith Station Elementary, Spotsylvania County, VAThe time is 1775, just after the Lewis family moved into beautiful Kenmore Plantation. War against Great Britain is underway. George Washington, Betty Lewis’s brother, has taken command of the Revolutionary army. Why did the colonies go to war with Great Britain? What could the citizens of Fredericksburg do to help the cause? What difficult choices and life changing decisions were made by the residents of Kenmore during and after the Revolutionary War? What role did Fielding and Betty Lewis, their children, and slaves play in the fight for freedom? What did it mean to be a patriot or a loyalist? How were money, barter, and credit used during the Revolutionary War? Students learn the answers to these questions.
Grades 4-5
History and Social Science SOLs: VS.1a,b,c,d,e,f,g, VS.4a, VS.4a,d, VS.5a,b, USI.1a,b,d,h,I, USI.5c, USI.5d, USI.6a, USi.6b c,d,g, US.6b,c,d,g
Fine Arts SOLs: 4.1

George Washington's Ferry Farm Programs

Ferry Farm, George Washington's boyhood home, lies along the Rappahannock River. These 113+ acres of trees and meadows are home to birds, insects, and mammals. The Discovery Garden contains many herbs, vegetables, and fruits that were grown in the 18th century.

George Washington: Boy Before Legend

“Every year the program [George Washington: Boy Before Legend] has just gotten better and better. I always enjoy our trip to Ferry Farm. The kids learn so much, and the parents do, too.” - 1st grade teacher, Culpeper Christian, Culpeper, VAThis multi-disciplinary program encompasses the life of George Washington, starting from childhood. Students learn about the important role that math and science played in his future jobs—first, as a surveyor, and later, as a farmer. This program also teaches the historical significance of George Washington as a soldier, commander-in-chief and president. The students will understand George Washington as the child, the man, the myth and the legend.
Grades K-2
Math SOLs: K.5, K.6, K.10, K.11, K.13, K.15, 1.12, 1.15, 2.13, 2.14, 2.19
Science SOLs: K.5, K.7, K.11, 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 2.4, 2.6
History/Social Studies SOLs: K.1, K.7, K.8, K.9, 1.2, 1.3, 1.10, 1.11, 2.10, 2.11
Language Arts SOLs: K.1, K.3, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.3

Grades 3-5
Math SOLs: 3.14, 4.13, 5.8, 5.11
Science SOLs: 3.1a, 3.1, 3.7a, 3.10, 4.6, 5.1
History SOLs: VS.1, VS.5B, VS.6a, USI.6
Language Arts SOLs: 3.1, 4.1, 5.2

Dig for George

“The program gave the students the opportunity to be an archaeologist, use the tools of an archaeologist, think and reason like an archaeologist, and understand the process of archaeology.” – 3rd grade teacher, Ferry Farm Elementary, Stafford County, VA Applying critical thinking skills, primary sources, and historical research, archaeologists at Ferry Farm have made new, exciting discoveries about George Washington. Students will emulate the archaeological process through hands-on learning. They will visit stations that emphasize gridding, digging, and sifting, washing and labeling, and mending. Students will be challenged to think critically about the artifacts they uncover and to draw conclusions about George Washington and his family.
Grades 3-5
Science SOLs: 3.1, 4.1, 5.1
History and Social Science SOLs: 3.5, 3.6, VS.1, VS2f, USI.1b, USI.3a

First Americans

The history of American Indians in Virginia spans thousands of years, from the time of hunters and gatherers, to their interaction with European settlers. Students learn about the daily life of these first Americans through artifacts, primary documents, and fun, hands-on activities.
Grades K-2, 3-5
History and Social Science SOLs: K.1, K.4, 2.2, 2.4, VS.1, VS.2, VS.3, USI.1, USI.3, USI.4

Habitat Hunt

The habitats of Ferry Farm’s natural world are explored in this program. Students learn about the migration, hibernation and camouflage of various birds and animals as well as the local eco-system. Children hike the woods, look for plants and animals along the river and participate in activities that explain the interdependence of man, plants and animals. (This outdoor program is only available in September, October, April, May and June.)
Grades 1-4
Science Sols: 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 3.1, 3.4, 3.8, 3.10, 4.1, 4.5, 4.8
Math SOLs: 1.16, 2.20

Custom Tours

We can customize a school program to fit your educational needs.

Guidelines for Scheduling a School Program


  1. $3.50 per child (up to 50 students); teachers, no charge; chaperones, $3.50.
  2. $5.50 per child (more than 50 students - outside only) or for extended program, Dig for George; teachers, no charge; chaperones, $3.50.
  3. $4.00 per child for In-School programs (we will work with your class schedules to bring these programs to your school).

Number of Students:


Please call 540/370-0732 x24 or

Checks must be made payable to The George Washington Foundation. We also accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

Plan ahead - reserve early!

Please be prepared to provide the following information:

Lunch or Snacks

There are no food services available at either Washington's Ferry Farm or Historic Kenmore. For lunches or snacks brought by the students, Ferry Farm offers plenty of shaded, grassy areas for picnics, and chairs inside in the event of inclement weather. Please let us know at the time you make the reservation if you plan to have lunch at Ferry Farm.

Confirmation of Your Visit

You will receive a written confirmation of your reservation. Please review it immediately to be sure your plans are recorded accurately. Also, please bring the confirmation letter with you at the time of your visit.