Tennessee Agricultural Museum


Hands-On Learning!

Demonstrations, hands-on activities and curriculum based programs continue to make the Tennessee Agricultural Museum a popular destination for students and teachers. Teachers can select an activity program from the list below or take a walking tour of the museum. Our K-6th grade programs last about one hour and are centered on a particular topic. Students visiting the museum will see selected artifacts that correlate with the activity programs and that are age appropriate.

Program and group tour fees are $1 per person with one free admission per each class of 15 or more students. Additional chaperones are $1 each.

A minimum of 15 students is required for activity programs. If attendance falls below 15, call to reschedule. Maximum group size is 60 without prior approval.

Reservations are required. Please call (615) 837-5197 for scheduling.

Educational Programs:

(January-February) George Washington: First Farmer and President
Join the birthday celebration honoring George Washington--progressive farmer, famous soldier and America's first president. Children will discover what a typical day was like for a young George Washington on his farm by visiting the blacksmith shop, threshing wheat, using a cross-cut saw and grinding corn with a hand-turned gristmill. A bag of freshly ground cornmeal and recipe for making Washington's favorite corncakes will be given for cooking and tasting at school. Once the farm work is done, students can write with a quill pen, use the butter churn and grind spices for George's birthday cake.

(March-May & August-September) Covered Wagons and Log Cabins on the Cumberland
This program features a covered wagon and the items a family would need for survival on the Tennessee frontier. Your group will see and touch a variety of objects as they make decisions about packing the wagon with food, furniture and cooking utensils. Students will have a chance to identify and grind herbs, shell corn, learn how to make wood shakes, and watch thread being made on the spinning wheel. From hackles to flintlocks, tea kettles and plows, students will see and touch the tools and equipment needed for building new homes and farming the land. Note: Weather will dictate the use of the log cabin area adjacent to the museum.

(April-May) School Days in the Country
The teacher's hand bell will ring out as your class steps back in time and enters the one-room school that features a wood burning stove, primitive teachers desk and recitation bench. Activities will focus on a time when farm children carried lunch pails and walked miles (uphill both ways!) to study the “3 Rs” - Limit 25 in group total.

(June-July) Summertime on the Farm
Students will learn about the difference in pre-electricity agriculture and modern agriculture. They will also discover the fun of farm chores by using a butter churn and by washing clothes by hand. They will explore cabins, an heirloom garden, and other farm activities like using a grist mill and corn shucking. Due to the outdoor content of the program, the weather is a limiting factor. Full refunds available for weather-related cancelations.

(October-November) Tennessee’s First Farmers- An Indian Legacy
Tennessee's first farmers were growing corn, beans, squash and pumpkins over a thousand years ago. The life of these Indian people who cared for the land will be better understood as students see and touch stone hoes, axes, and flint points. Selected students will also have an opportunity to make a clay pendant and grind corn with hand stones. A display of seeds, plants and roots will highlight Native American life-ways which included both cultivation and conservation.

(December) Home for the Holidays
Gather round the cedar tree for stories and demonstrations featuring handmade ornaments and old-fashioned toys. Sleigh bells and songs will make this a happy holiday celebration as we recall simple pleasures of long ago. Your group will enjoy sugar cookies and apple cider. Students will also take home a holiday pencil as a reminder of the traditional Christmas cedar.


Travelling Trunk - Bringing History to the Classroom

Can’t make it to the museum? Let the museum come to you! A Pioneer Journey travelling trunk builds a sense of adventure as students see and touch items familiar to Tennessee pioneers.

From betty lamps to buckskin and butter molds, there are interesting objects to capture the imagination.

Using a resource packet of activities and stories, students can journey to a time when pioneer farm families shaped the course of our state.

The Award-winning Program Includes:

Teachers may reserve the trunk for two weeks at a fee of $25. Please call (615)837-5197 to make your reservation.

Classroom Materials

Before visiting the Tennessee Agricultural Museum, you and your class can use this study guide to spark interest and learn more about the rural heritage that Americans share. All demonstrations and activities at the museum will provide enrichment themes to help you understand the important role of Tennessee farm families. After your visit, you will receive a specific study sheet relating to your activity program.

All items are in PDF format and require the free Acrobat Reader:

      E newsletter      

TN Agricultural Museum • (615) 837-5197 • tennessee.agricultural.museum@tn.gov