Welcome, teachers and students, to Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion Educational Resource Page. The Mansion staff has designed a set of lesson plans based on the Social Studies Georgia Standards of Excellence for 4th, 8th and United States History classes starting in the 2017-2018 school year. A strong focus is placed on utilizing primary documents. Images and/or transcripts of these documents are included so they can be either viewed online or downloaded and printed. Through examining these documents, students will gain firsthand knowledge of what life was like in Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion in the 19th century and they will also develop valuable critical thinking and research skills that reinforce your classroom instruction. If you're interested in bringing more primary source documents and hands-on objects into your classroom from the Mansion, check out our traveling trunk.
Here is a list of state standards as applicable to the Mansion:
Background and Additional Information for Teachers
Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion was home to eight Georgia governors from 1839 until 1868. Governor Joseph E. Brown was one of the most outstanding. He served as Georgia's governor during three important periods of history: the Antebellum period, the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction. He also served more consecutive terms than any other Georgia governor.
In November 1864, the Mansion served as headquarters for Union General William T. Sherman. Sherman's "March to the Sea" brought 30,000 Union soldiers into Milledgeville.
After the capital moved to Atlanta in 1868, the Mansion was used as a barracks for Georgia Military College cadets. Since 1889, the Mansion has been a part of what is now Georgia College. An intensive research project has been completed on the building and its inhabitants for the ongoing historic restoration. Your students will be able to see evidence of this research by viewing the 19th century construction of the building.
Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion achieved National Historic Landmark status in 1973. This honor reflects the Mansion's high style Greek Revival architecture as well as its close association with nationally important events.
More information can be found the front page of the website.
About Your Class Tour
A docent trained in working with large groups of children will guide you and your students through the Mansion. Our docents are highly knowledgeable about the Mansion, the governors who lived here, the important historic events that took place here and its construction and restoration. Emphasis will also be placed on the importance of historic preservation in conserving our historic building. Additionally, students are encouraged to play active roles in the tour through questioning and dialog.
The materials included here are for your discretionary use as pre-visit, visit, and/or post-visit activities. These activities are not required, but they include valuable information for your students that you may find useful in preparing students for their visit to the Old Governor's Mansion. Activities for grades four, eight, and eleven are included, so please feel free to adapt them to meet the individual needs of your students.
Rent Our Traveling Trunk
Bring the Mansion to your classroom! Check out our “Life During the Civil War” traveling trunk and taking learning to the next level. Use it to support your own lesson plans or use it with our lesson plans over civil war soldiers, shifting gender roles, and the civilian war experience. Lesson are tailored to Social Studies Georgia State Standards of Excellence for grades 4, 8, and US History. Over 40 items and primary source documents such as civil war soldier uniforms, reproduction union and confederate money, and cooking utensils are included in the trunk. We have also included several books, at various reading levels, to promote and increase literacy. Rental time for the trunk is 2 weeks and only costs $25. There is free pick up and drop off at the Mansion but shipping options are available. For more details or questions contact the Mansion by calling 478-445-4545. To reserve the traveling trunk, click the blue button at the bottom and fill out the request form and Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion will contact you with a confirmation.
Please review our Traveling Trunk Rules and Regulations
See what’s included in the trunk: Traveling Trunk Object List
Pre-Visit Suggested Activities and Information
- This lesson is designed for 3rd grade based on the Georgia Performance Standards for the 2015-2016 school year. It would best be served as a pre-visit lesson to a field trip to the Mansion but could also serve as a stand alone lesson over Greek architecture.
- This activity book is designed for young learners and includes coloring pages and other activities over the Mansion. It could serve as an introduction to the Mansion before a visit or field trip but can also act as a fun resource for any child.
Visit Suggested Activities
- This is geared towards younger children and helps them take more of an active role in the normal Mansion tour by looking for items on each level fo the house. This is available for any child on any tour, just ask your tour docent for more details.
- This is a special Christmas themed version of our item scavenger hunt, geared towards younger children and helps them take more of an active role in the normal Mansion tour by looking for items on each level fo the house. This is available for any child on any tour, just ask your tour docent for more details.
- This is fill-in-the-blank scavenger hunt geared towards older children. There are two version included: one with a word bank and one without, plus an answer key. This is available for any child on tour, just ask your tour docent for more details.
Post-Visit Suggested Activities
The following lesson plans should be used at the teacher's professional discretion according to the needs and capabilities of each individual class. These lesson plans are useful before or after a visit and need not be completed in order.
The documents that are presented for your use in the classroom have suggested lesson plans that can be modified to suit the ability and interest level of your students. Each lesson has been coordinated with the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) for Social Studies that begin in the 2017-2018 school year. We primarily focused on 4th and 8th grades and US History since those standards align closest to our museum. Feel free to adapt lessons to fit your students' needs and grade level as necessary. More lessons will be added as they are created.
- There was much more to the life of a Civil War solider than just marching and fighting. This lesson explores the other aspects to a soldiers life not usually talked, about such as camp life.
- All facets of life were affected by the Civil War. This applied to not only the soldiers fighting in the war, but also to all those left behind at home. This lesson plan explores how different areas of life were affected by the Civil War.
- In this lesson, students explore how the roles of men and women changed as a side effect of the Civil War. Students primarily look at shifting gender roles though objects from the period.
*The lesson plans themselves are the property of Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion in Milledgeville, Ga. and may be freely used for non-profit educational purposes only.
Civil War Trust for Kids