Classroom Resources

Historic Hudson Valley Resources

Museum educators outside Philipsburg Manor

Lesson Plans

In 2022 and 2023, two cohorts of teachers from seven states worked with the Hard History Project and our partners at Historic Hudson Valley to invent and test teaching strategies to accompany the People Not Property website and materials. These lesson plans are differentiated by grade.

Outside Resources

School Programs

On-Site Field Trips


This program, which is differentiated by grade range, provides students with a thoughtful, in-depth exploration of the history of the enslaved men, women and children who were forced to live and work at Philipsburg Manor. Students will learn about the experiences of the enslaved community and be given the tools to grapple with the geographic and historical context for their story.

  • Program length: 2 hours
  • Price: $8 per student
  • Group limit: 60 students
  • Availability: March-December

Grades 3-5

An interactive tour of the mill, manor house, barn, and activity center, during which students learn about the individual enslaved people at Philipsburg Manor, honor their resilience, and discuss how they nurtured families and built communities in the face of terrible injustice. Students are introduced to the study of historic documents, and select opportunities for hands-on engagement with colonial tasks (such as threshing) are made available for those who wish to participate.

Grades 6-12

This program focuses on enriching student comprehension of the fundamental history of Northern slavery, as well as the development of crucial research skills through the study of historic documents. Throughout their tour of immersive historic spaces, students are invited to engage with primary sources that reveal key information about the enslaved people of Philipsburg Manor, and to discuss how enslaved people could and did resist legal efforts to deny their humanity and their agency.


During a visit to Philipsburg Manor, students will experience forms of African cultural expression, including drumming, storytelling, and foodways, which were the heart of Pinkster, an 18th-century holiday celebrated by enslaved communities in the Hudson Valley.

  • Program length: 1.5 hours
  • Price: $9 per student
  • Group limit: 90 students
  • Availability: select days in May 2024
  • Grade Levels: 4th-8th

Virtual Field Trips

Historic Hudson Valley offers three virtual field trip programs in which students grapple with complex historical issues, analyze primary sources, and develop critical thinking skills. Trained educators facilitate these inquiry-based, multimedia experiences which make use of primary sources, professional photographs, and maps. All virtual field trips align to NYS Social Studies Common Core Standards and are differentiated by grade level.

Note: All virtual field trips are hosted on Zoom.


Using images of Philipsburg Manor, maps, primary documents, questionnaires, and other engagement tools, an HHV Museum Educator leads students in a discussion of the lives and experiences of the enslaved community at Philipsburg Manor in the year 1750, and asks them to consider the ways enslaved people could resist legal efforts to deny their humanity and their agency. This program utilizes and builds upon resources from HHV’s award-winning website, People Not Property which educators can use to continue the conversations begun during the Virtual Field Trip. This program can be booked as a pre-cursor to an onsite Slavery in the Colonial North field trip.

  • Program length: 45-60 minutes
  • Price: $150/class
  • Group limit: 3 classes
  • Availability: September-June
  • Grade Levels: 3rd-6th


This program examines the lives and labor of two specific women who were integral to the story of Philipsburg Manor in the Colonial Period: Sue, one of the enslaved women forced to work in the dairy at Philipsburg Manor, and Margaret Hardenbroeck, a Dutch merchant and enslaver who built Philipsburg Manor with her husband, Frederick. Using images of Philipsburg Manor, maps, primary documents, questionnaires, and other engagement tools, an HHV Museum Educator leads students in an investigation of Sue and Margaret Hardenbroeck, and how their lives challenge assumptions about the role of women in Colonial America. The program also highlights how historians use primary documents to uncover stories that had been marginalized or completely erased from textbooks and public memory.

  • Program length: 45 minutes
  • Price: $150/class
  • Group limit: 1 class
  • Availability: September – June
  • Grade Levels: 7th-9th
  • Beginning in spring 2024. To be notified when bookings are available email [email protected]


In this program, students analyze primary source documents and maps to consider the experiences of free and enslaved women at Van Cortlandt Manor during the American Revolution. As the fighting reached New York, Cornelia Van Cortlandt Beekman and her family sided with Patriots, while the enslaved women sought freedom by escaping across British lines. In this program students will discuss what historians know about the experiences of these two women, what options were available to them, and what this means for our larger understanding of the American Revolution.

  • Program length: 45 minutes
  • Price: $150/class
  • Group limit: 1 class
  • Availability: September – June
  • Grade Levels: 4th-6th
  • Beginning in spring 2024. To be notified when bookings are available email [email protected]

For more information about virtual field trips, please email [email protected]

School programs are designed for students 4th through 12th grade and align to the following learning standards:

New York State Social Studies Standards

  • 4.3b Colonial New York became home to many different peoples, including European immigrants, and free and enslaved Africans. Colonists developed different lifestyles.
  • 4.5a There were slaves in New York State. People worked to fight against slavery and for change.
  • 4.5c The United States became divided over several issues, including slavery, resulting in the Civil War. New York State supported the Union and played an important role in this war.
  • 5.3d Africans were captured, brought to the Americas, and sold as slaves. Their transport across the Atlantic was known as the Middle Passage.
  • 5.6b Legal, political, and historic documents define the values, beliefs, and principles of constitutional democracy.
  • 5.6c Across time and place, different groups of people in the Western Hemisphere have struggled and fought for equality and civil rights or sovereignty.
  • 7.2e Over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries, slavery grew in the colonies. Enslaved Africans utilized a variety of strategies to both survive and resist their conditions.
  • 7.7b Enslaved African Americans resisted slavery in various ways in the 19th century. The abolitionist movement also worked to raise awareness of and generate resistance to the institution of slavery.
  • 9.4c Interregional travelers, traders, missionaries, and nomads carried products and natural resources, and brought with them enslaved people and ideas that led to cultural diffusion.
  • 9.10c The decimation of indigenous populations in the Americas influenced the growth of the Atlantic slave trade. The trade of enslaved peoples resulted in exploitation, death, and the creation of wealth.
  • 11.1b A number of factors influenced colonial economic development, social structures, and labor systems, causing variation by region.

AP U.S. History Framework

  • KC-1.2.II.C European traders partnered with some West African groups who practiced slavery to forcibly extract enslaved laborers for the Americas. The Spanish imported enslaved Africans to labor in plantation agriculture and mining.
  • KC-2.1.II.D The colonies of the southern Atlantic coast and the British West Indies used long growing seasons to develop plantation economies based on exporting staple crops. They depended on the labor of enslaved Africans, who often constituted the majority of the population in these areas and developed their own forms of cultural and religious autonomy
  • KC-2.1.III.A An Atlantic economy developed in which goods, as well as enslaved Africans and American Indians, were exchanged between Europe, Africa, and the Americas through extensive trade networks. European colonial economies focused on acquiring, producing, and exporting commodities that were valued in Europe and gaining new sources of labor.
  • KC-2.2.II.A All the British colonies participated to varying degrees in the Atlantic slave trade due to the abundance of land and a growing European demand for colonial goods, as well as a shortage of indentured servants. Small New England farms used relatively few enslaved laborers, all port cities held significant minorities of enslaved people, and the emerging plantation systems of the Chesapeake and the southern Atlantic coast had large numbers of enslaved workers, while the great majority of enslaved Africans were sent to the West Indies.
  • KC-2.2.II.B As chattel slavery became the dominant labor system in many southern colonies, new laws created a strict racial system that prohibited interracial relationships and defined the descendants of African American mothers as black and enslaved in perpetuity.
  • KC-2.2.II.C Africans developed both overt and covert means to resist the dehumanizing nature of slavery and maintain their family and gender systems, culture, and religion.
  • KC-2.2.II Like other European empires in the Americas that participated in the Atlantic slave trade, the English colonies developed a system of slavery that reflected the specific economic, demographic, and geographic characteristics of those colonies.

Professional Development Opportunities

Teachers Institute

Join us for a series of teacher webinars where educators from across the country will share their experiences and strategies for teaching the history of Northern slavery. Participants will learn tangible skills to use with their students and receive adaptable lesson plans suitable for various grade levels.

TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2024 @ 7:00PM EST
Teaching Slavery Using Primary Sources and Document Based Question (DBQ) Techniques

TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2024 @ 7:00PM EST
Teaching Slavery and Place Based Learning

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2024 @ 7:00PM EST
Teaching the Truth About Colonialism