Education

At the Museum

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Lectures

The HSPBC offers two lecture series.

The Distinguished Lecture Series primarily features authors who speak on historical books or events aligned with our mission: sharing the history of Palm Beach County, Florida, and the Caribbean. Presentations are followed by a light reception, and a book signing when appropriate. Authors’ books are available for sale in the Museum Store. The Museum is kept open to visit before lectures and during receptions.

The Third Thursday @ 3 Series was initiated to provide a daytime option for those who want to learn more Palm Beach County history.  Attendees often visit the admission-free Johnson History Museum on the 2nd floor before or after the lectures.

Click Here for more information.

Standard History Tour

The Museum is designed to be self-guided, but to schedule a tour for adults or children, contact Rhonda Gordon, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, at 561-832-4164 ext. 110 or here.

Our docent-led private tours introduce visitors to the history of Palm Beach County, the architectural elements of the neo-classical, revival-style courthouse, and the elements of government. The tour explores the Museum’s permanent People and Place galleries, the annual special exhibit, and the Historic Courtroom.

Scheduled tours are available during our hours of operation, Monday – Saturday. Tours last about one and one-half hours.

 When you call to schedule, please provide the cell number for the day of the tour, email address, two choices of dates in possible, and (for schools) the number of students/teachers/chaperones.

All tours are FREE. Donations are appreciated.
For Schools:  

Johnson History Museum – Teacher’s Guide
Use this guide to plan and schedule a tour to the Richard and Pat Johnson History Museum. Included are a Grade 4 lesson on Florida history and the Barefoot Mailman, and a Grade 7 lesson to prepare for a Mock Trial tour.

Architectural Tour of 1916 Palm Beach County Courthouse – Teacher’s Guide

The Johnson History Museum is an approved SDPBC Field Experience Site meeting these state standards: 

SS.5.C.2.3, SS.6.C.2.1, SS.7.C.2.1, SS.7.C.2.2, SS.7.C.2.3, SS.7.C.2.4,

SS.7.C.2.5, SS.7.C.2.6, SS.7.C.2.7, SS.7.C.2.8, SS.7.C.2.9, SS.7.C.2.10,

SS.7.C.2.11,  SS.7.C.2.12, SS.7.C.2.13, SS.7.C.2.14, SS.8.C.1.1,

SS.8.C.1.5, SS.8.C.1.6, SS.912.C.2.1, SS.912.C.2.2, SS.912.C.2.3,

SS.912.C.2.4, SS.912.C.2.5, SS.912.C.2.7, SS.912.C.2.8, SS.912.C.2.9,

SS.912.C.2.11, SS.912.C.2.13, SS.912.C.2.14, SS.912.C.2.15 

Mock Trial and Tour

This tour is for middle- and high-school students and combines a shortened tour of the galleries with a first-hand civics lesson that challenges students in advocacy, critical thinking, and working through life problems using inquiry-based learning. Participants receive a script ahead of time for a case relevant to their world. This experience is exciting for students as they role-play as trial attorneys, witnesses, clerks, and bailiffs, while gaining a better understanding of law, court procedures, and our criminal and civil justice system. Advance preparation by students is required.

For our Adult Mock Trial, see the EVENTS page.

To schedule a tour, contact Rhonda Gordon, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, at 561-832-4164 ext. 110 or email.

Schools: 

The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum is an approved SDPBC Field Experience Site meeting these state standards: 

SS.5.C.2.3, SS.6.C.2.1, SS.7.C.2.1, SS.7.C.2.2, SS.7.C.2.3, SS.7.C.2.4,

SS.7.C.2.5, SS.7.C.2.6, SS.7.C.2.7, SS.7.C.2.8, SS.7.C.2.9, SS.7.C.2.10,

SS.7.C.2.11,  SS.7.C.2.12, SS.7.C.2.13, SS.7.C.2.14, SS.8.C.1.1,

SS.8.C.1.5, SS.8.C.1.6, SS.912.C.2.1, SS.912.C.2.2, SS.912.C.2.3,

SS.912.C.2.4, SS.912.C.2.5, SS.912.C.2.7, SS.912.C.2.8, SS.912.C.2.9,

SS.912.C.2.11, SS.912.C.2.13, SS.912.C.2.14, SS.912.C.2.15

Tours for Summer Camps

During the summer months, we add fun elements and new information to our Standard Tour to engage children who visit with a summer camp and may have already experienced the Museum during the school year. 

To schedule a tour, contact Rhonda Gordon, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, at 561.832.4164 ext. 110 or email.

In Schools

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Traveling Trunks

 

Traveling Educational Trunk Program

The HSPBC’s Traveling Trunks offer exciting classroom resources that meet Florida Sunshine State Standards. Trunks are based on specific themes and contain information, activities, and reproductions of artifacts to enhance students’ understanding of Palm Beach County and Florida history. Teacher Guides are also provided. Most of the trunks are designed for Grade 4 but can be adapted for other levels. The trunks are loaned to teachers for three-week periods on a first come, first served basis. There is no charge or deposit for their use. 

To reserve a trunk call 561.832.4164 ext. 109 or email.

 

 

The Seminole and Miccosukee

Students learn about these native tribes of Florida through the items they created. The trunk contains photos, objects, activities, a student handout, and a Teacher’s Guide

 

Ancient People of South Florida: The Calusa, Tequesta, and Jeaga

Students will explore how these early people lived prior to and just after the arrival of Europeans in Florida. The trunk includes a teacher’s guide, photographs, prints by Florida artist Theodore Morris, reproduction artifacts, a map, books, a video, suggestions for activities, a student handout, and a Teacher’s Guide.

 

Pioneer Trunk Program

Students will learn how settlers lived pre-Flagler during Palm Beach County’s pioneer era (1860-1893). The trunk includes a Teacher’s Guide, photos, a large map of Lake Worth showing where the settlers lived, reproduction 19th century artifacts, books, replica fruits and vegetables, deerskin, pioneer girls’ clothing, part of a Barefoot Mailman outfit, and a student handout. 

 

This trunk is designed as a supplement when teaching about the Holocaust and is aligned to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and Common Core Standards. The trunk includes books, a classroom set of Jacob’s Rescue, photos of Jewish life from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, posters, DVDs, a map, and a guide to teaching the Holocaust with other lessons.

 

Students have the opportunity to learn about the Europeans who claimed and explored La Florida, from 1513 when Juan Ponce de Léon claimed Florida for Spain, to the founding of St. Augustine in 1565 by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. Students will also learn how the explorers navigated the oceans through lessons and hands-on navigation tools that sailors used. Pictures, maps, clothing, a teacher’s guide (peek inside HERE), are included.

 

 edu_trunk_CW

This trunk immerses students in the period of 1861-1877 in Florida, during the American Civil War and Reconstruction, with a peek into everyday life, military camp life, and the obstacles and challenges people had to overcome to survive. Included are a Teacher’s Guide, photos, a large map of battles fought in Florida, reproduction 19th century artifacts, pioneer girl’s clothing, and books. 

 

This trunk brings to life the science and development of one of the most foundational parts of our county’s history: agriculture. Teach the agricultural heritage of Palm Beach County and even how to create your own classroom or school garden. Included are a Teacher’s Guide, historical photos, large maps of the agriculture district, replica vegetables and fruits, and books.

History Tabloids - Grades 4 and 7

      4th Grade: Florida History

This tabloid supplements the Grade 4 curriculum.
It was created through a partnership with the School District of Palm Beach County.
CLICK HERE for the complete Tab.
Scroll down to Online/Teacher Resources for individual sections of the tabloid with Lesson Plans, including Quiz and Answer Key.

 7th Grade: Palm Beach County History & Civics

This tabloid supplements the Civics and Social Studies curriculum for Grade 7.
It was created through a partnership with the School District of Palm Beach County and other historical organizations.  

CLICK HERE for the complete Tab.
CLICK HERE for the Teacher Guide.

 

 

Presenters & Reenactors

HSPBC reenactors can be scheduled for live virtual presentations to engage with students as historic characters.

To schedule, call Rhonda Gordon 561.832.4164 ext.110 or email.

In the Community

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Speakers Bureau

*Now offered virtually!*

Bring the richness of Palm Beach County history to your workplace, community group, or classroom.  HSPBC Speakers open a window to our county’s past through lectures enhanced by PowerPoint presentations. We offer two categories:

Lectures by our Academic Team

… offer a choice from a variety of history topics ($150*):

  • Coconuts, Beaches, Mosquitoes, and Panthers: The Pioneer Era of Palm Beach County 1860-1893   Today Palm Beach County is a modern paradise, easily reached from anywhere in the world, but in the late 19th century, getting here was not so easy. And, when you arrived, a lush jungle paradise greeted you, from which you would have to hack out your homestead. Journey back in time to look at the difficulties of getting here, the settlers’ early homes, life-saving stations, food, hotels, mosquitoes, and pioneer life in what they thought was a “Garden of Eden.”
  • Ancient People of South Florida: A Trail of Palm Beach County Heritage   Many people are surprised to learn that Palm Beach County’s rich history stretches back 12,000 years. This lecture will introduce the county’s earliest Native American residents through historic sites and markers from Jupiter to Boca Raton, and from West Palm Beach to the Glades.
  • Paradise in Peril: World War II in Palm Beach County  This lecture examines the military presence in Palm Beach County during World War II and civilian activities towards the war effort. Topics include the county’s contributions, including two army air bases, a secret listen station, civilian organizations, U-boat hunters, the Coast Guard, military hospitals, and a POW camp.
  • The Gilded Age in Palm Beach
  • Becoming West Palm Beach
  • Late to the Party in the Roaring ꞌ20s  Author Pat Yost will discuss her book, based on the memoirs of her late husband. Robert’s father was a successful New York businessman who, in 1925, dove headlong into the peak of Florida’s raging land boom. Pat captures the essence of the madness that blazed through the state, rising fast and falling fast, victim to nature’s massive fury and man’s blind greed. Through period photographs, she will shine a spotlight on the beginnings of the boom, from the ambitious land speculation in Miami and on to Boca Raton and the Palm Beaches. It was an exciting yet tragic time, built on unreasoned dreams of newfound wealth in that tropical paradise called Florida.

Lectures by our Volunteer Docents

… introduce the HSPBC and Johnson History Museum with a touch of county history. (Donation suggested).

Programs run between 20 and 60 minutes and can be tailored to fit your interests by making arrangements in advance.

Please schedule lectures at least three weeks in advance.
* For Academic Lectures: $75 non-refundable deposit is required to secure date and prepare lecture.

To schedule, email Rhonda Gordon at rgordon@hspbc.org or call 561.832.4164 ext. 110.

History Walking Tours

Take a step back in time with our History Walking Tours! The HSPBC’s tours of Downtown West Palm Beach are led by architect and historian Rick Gonzalez of REG Architects.  The 90-minute guided tours showcase the evolution of the city’s buildings and landmarks, including a historical overview of urban design, through recent development.  Tickets are limited; walk-ups are welcome but not guaranteed inclusion in the tour unless space allows.

The fee is $10 per person with reservations required. Tours are rain or shine. Click here for tickets. 

Friday Walking Tours 2019-2020 Season

Dates: December 6, January 3, February 7, March 6, and April 3
Time
: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Start: 300 N. Dixie Highway; Main entrance to the historic 1916 Courthouse and Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum. Arrive early and enjoy the Museum!
End:  At the Banyan tree near the West Palm Beach Waterfront Visitor Center, 100 N. Clematis Street

Fridays: Click here for tickets, or call 561.832.4164 ext. 2.

Saturday Walking Tours 2019-2020 Season

Dates: November 16, December 21, January 18, February 15, March 21 (tentative), and April 18 (the last GreenMarket)
Time
: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Start: West Palm Beach GreenMarket, between the huge Banyan tree and the Visitor Information Center (100 N. Clematis Street). IF you cannot find us, ask at the Visitor Center.
End:  Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum, 300 N. Dixie Highway

Saturday History Walking Tours are sponsored by REG Architects and the City of West Palm Beach. Proceeds benefit the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.

Saturdays: Click here for tickets, or call 561.832.4164 ext. 2.

Awards by HSPBC

Click here for honorees and applications.

Judge James R. Knott Award

Established in 1989, the prestigious Judge James R. Knott Historical Contribution Award annually recognizes the achievements of an individual or organization that has contributed to the preservation, promotion, or enrichment of Palm Beach County history.

Fannie James Pioneer Achievement Award

Established in 2003, this award recognizes the achievements of individuals or organizations that have significantly contributed to preserving and sharing the history of Palm Beach County’s pioneering days. 

Online

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PBC History Online

In 2009 the HSPBC celebrated the launch of Palm Beach County History Online as part of our mission to share the history. This website helps broaden the audience and reach of local history visits to the Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum. The site is a one-stop shop for all your county history questions, including teaching materials for educators. An average 3.5 million people per year are learning from this resource!

The Historical Society of Palm Beach County is grateful to the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Foundation, Inc. and the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties for their foresight in funding the development of this site.

Visit PBC History Online – Click here

Teacher Resources / Lesson Plans

1. Geographic Location, the Land, and the Climate
          Teacher Copy          Student Copy

2. Florida’s Ancient People
          Teacher Copy          Student Copy

3. Colonial Florida
          Teacher copy          Student Copy

4. Territorial Florida
        Teacher copy          Student Copy

5. Statehood to the Civil War
        Teacher copy          Student Copy

6. The Great Depression through WWII
        Teacher copy          Student Copy

7. The Pioneer Era
        Teacher copy          Student Copy

8. The Flagler Era to Boom-to-Bust
        Teacher copy          Student Copy

9. Post-WWII to Present Day
        Teacher copy          Student Copy

10. A Story of Agriculture
        Teacher copy          Student Copy

 Lesson Plans based on Museum Special Exhibits:

The Last Calusa
This guide for The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The Last Calusa by Harvey Oyer includes reading activities, story analysis, discussion questions, idiomatic speech, and visual interpretation tasks. It was prepared by educators Patricia Kissel, Jupiter Farms Elementary School; Michelle Girardin, Palm Beach Gardens Elementary School; and Cheryl Burkhardt, retired. 

The Last Egret 
The activities in this guide for The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The Last Egret by Harvey Oyer include creating timelines, researching significant historical figures, arts and crafts, delivering presentations, diorama creation, writing critiques, and designing brochures. The guide was prepared by the School District of Palm Beach County.  

Civil Air Patrol: War in Florida’s Waters 1942-1943  
This guide was written to enhance the 2009-2010 special exhibit in the Johnson History Museum.  What was the role of the Civil Air Patrol during World War II?  How did we protect our shores?  The activities in this guide include reading tasks, making inferences from a text, researching primary and secondary sources, journal writing, and map interpretation.

World War II – Paradise in Peril in Palm Beach County   
This guide was written to enhance the 2011-2012 special exhibit in the Johnson History Museum.  What did civilians do during the war?  Why was rationing important? The guide features activities that include mathematics tasks, critical thinking, map interpretation, letter writing, and poster creation.

Storm of ’28 
What is a hurricane? What causes one? This guide features reading comprehension tasks, map plotting, chart interpretation, and a project to create a personalized hurricane. 

Feather Wars: Surviving Fashion 1870-1920 
This guide was written to enhance the 2010-2011 special exhibit in the Johnson History Museum by the same name. It examines an extraordinary period of South Florida history, when a worldwide trend in women’s hats created a rush to riches for ordinary people, and devastation for a population of splendid birds that inhabited the tropical wilderness. The guide features bird identification tasks, calculating prices, reading comprehension activities, and poetry writing. 

Early Contact 
This guide was written for the 2008 special exhibit in the Johnson History Museum about Florida’s early Native Americans’ interactions with Spanish conquistadors. The activities in the guide include making a timeline, creative writing, and researching significant historical figures.

Love of the Game: Baseball in the Palm Beaches
This guide was written for the 2016-2017 special exhibit at the Johnson History Museum by the same name.

Shipwreck: Discovering Lost Treasure
This guide was written for the 2017-2018 special exhibit at the Johnson History Museum by the same name.  What is the Gulf Stream? How do you define “treasure”?  How were shipwrecks necessary to survival? The activities in the guide include map creation, reading comprehension tasks, creative writing, and coinage identification.

Becoming West Palm Beach: Celebrating 125 Years
This guide was written for the 2019-2020 special exhibit at the Johnson History Museum by the same name.  West Palm Beach grew from a small ‘scrub’ town into an alluring city for tourism and residents.  How was this achieved? The guide includes history, math, and language arts activities. 

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