Bring your class to the oldest preserved plantation house in America still open to the public. Founded in 1738, when George Washington was only 6 years old, the house witnessed the rise and fall of plantation society, survived devastating natural disasters and wars, and remained intact in the face of modernization.
Drayton Hall’s K-12 educational programming offers the following:
- Curriculum-based programs integrating math, science, geography, art, social studies, physical education, and language arts, which help develop analytical skills that enable students to synthesize and evaluate information.
- Opportunities for creative problem solving through interactive learning stations and inquiry-based tours, which engage students in new ways.
- Professional education staff who encourage participation and making connections to the students’ own experiences.
A Day in the Life at Drayton Hall
3rd Grade – 8th Grade
The objective of this program is for students to better understand the life of the Drayton family and their enslaved laborers at Drayton Hall in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. By using primary documents like the diaries of Dr. Charles Drayton — who was the second generation owner of Drayton Hall from 1784 until his death in 1820 — this program introduces students to some of the enslaved by name and the variety of tasks they performed. Students will also learn how African traditions and cultures influenced life in the Lowcountry, both then and now.
The American Revolution
3rd Grade – 8th Grade
Students will learn about the American Revolution in the Lowcountry and the significant role Drayton Hall played as a headquarters for both British and American forces during the war. Students will learn about leaders like William Henry Drayton, Francis Marion, and the common soldiers of the British and Continental armies. These soldiers camped at Drayton Hall as part of the campaigns for Charleston. Additionally, students will learn how the Revolution affected people in South Carolina, from plantation owner John Drayton, his young wife Rebecca, and an enslaved man who escaped to freedom. Interactive stations include uniforms, marching drills, camp life, and the experience of enslaved people.
Port to Plantation: Slavery and the Making of the Early Lowcountry Economy
9th Grade – 12th Grade
This 30 minute interpretive program explores the economic ramification of slavery at Drayton Hall and throughout the Carolina Lowcountry – a history with which Charleston still grapples today. Historical interpreters present images of documents, artifacts, and maps that illuminate the nature of slavery at Drayton Hall in the 18th and 19th centuries. This is an important glimpse into the past; discover the many ways in which enslaved workers literally and figuratively built the Lowcountry economy.
*Student House Tour
Students study the history of Drayton Hall and those who lived on the property through several focused tour options (including African American history, the American Revolution, architecture or preservation). A trained Drayton Hall educator leads students through the basement and first level of the house on this 45-60 minute house tour. *A student house tour may be added to any of the above-listed educational program offerings for a discounted rate of $5.00/student.
*Picnic site usage available for an additional fee.