Education, under the leadership of Emily Mezzetti, Director of Education Programs, continues to thrive and expand at the Museum. Our goal is to teach all our students, preschool through high school, the value of civic engagement. Beginning with President Kennedy’s legacy, we organize age-appropriate experiences, infusing critical thinking skills, a key tenet of civic engagement, into our lessons.
“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”
-President John F. Kennedy
Preschoolers from Cape Cod Child Development Program/Head Start have learned the importance of family and community. Early elementary students have enjoyed lessons with a Science,Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) theme. Fourth and fifth graders have learned to “use their voice” to communicate with local, state, and national officials. Middle school students are learning how the Constitution impacts the presidency, through both the election process and the president’s responsibilities. High school students have participated in our Federal Budget Simulation, working in collaborative groups to organize and defend their funding of the fourteen discretionary accounts in the federal budget. Our Art Curator Program, with four participating high schools, has allowed students to showcase their knowledge of President Kennedy’s legacy through art, with pieces that they create and then showcase in an exhibition.
Explore the museum’s current themed lessons below. Interested teachers should email Emily Mezzetti, Director of Education Programs, using the email form at the bottom of this page, or call 508-790-3077, extension 6 to schedule a visit or class.
The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum has a preschool curriculum developed by Lisa Green, Education Committee member and kindergarten teacher in the Bourne Public Schools. We currently have a collaboration with Cape Cod Child Development’s Pearl Street, Hyannis Campus. Preschoolers visit the museum twice each month for thirty-minute lessons.
We have seven STEM-themed lessons that we share during Museum visits, classroom outreach, and with after school programs:
• Prekindergarten – Here Where We Live
• Kindergarten – Saving Our Seashore
• 1st grade – The Kennedys and Heredity
• 2nd grade – Boat Designs for Cape Cod’s Stormy Seas
• 3rd grade – Meet the Press: How Technology Changed Politics
• 4th grade – Energy for America’s Future
• 5th grade – We Choose to Go to the Moon
• 6th grade – The Presidential Fitness Challenge
*Making Your Voices Heard is a lesson for upper elementary students. Using historical nonfiction, students learn about Benjamin Banneker’s famous letter to Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, regarding his ownership of slaves. Fast forwarding to the present, students brainstorm local, state, and federal topics of interest and concern. Selecting a topic, they each compose and send a letter to a public official.
*Red States/Blue States helps students develop an understanding of the presidential election. Included in this lesson is the Electoral College and voting patterns in recent national elections.
*A President’s Day leads to the development of a “Help Wanted” advertisement for presidential candidates for 2020. Students work collaboratively to develop ideas around the professional skills needed to be an outstanding President. They compare Presidents’ Daily Agendas. An understanding of the job as delineated by our Constitution increases their knowledge. All of this is synthesized into their advertisements while helping develop their assessment skills of the professional qualifications of presidential candidates.
*Federal Budget Simulation is a four- lesson unit that begins in the classroom and continues at the museum or at your school. Students learn how the federal budget is developed, including revenue and expenses. They learn the difference between mandated and discretionary spending. Then, working collaboratively in small groups, students discuss their budget priorities and reorganize the thirteen discretionary accounts. Coming back together in a large group, they discuss and defend their choices.
Art Curator Class: Art students visit the museum to develop an understanding of President Kennedy’s legacy. Using Museum pieces for inspiration, they return to their classes and develop their own artwork. Together they curate an art show, including: their art pieces, a written description of the historical and current significance, a press release, an invitation, and a reception. This class is developed and facilitated by Mr. Carl Lopes, Education Committee Member and Department Head, retired, Barnstable High School Visual Arts.
*These lessons were developed with the support of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
We welcome classes to visit the Museum and combine a lesson and museum tour. We will also visit your school and facilitate a lesson for your students.
Interested teachers should email Emily Mezzetti, Director of Education Programs, using the below email form, or call 508-790-3077, extension 6 to schedule a visit or class.