Educational opportunities at Atlanta History Center

11/15/2012  | 
Field Trip Destination

The Atlanta History Center is home to one of the Southeast’s largest history museums with award-winning exhibitions; two historic houses including Swan House and Smith Family Farm; the two-story Centennial Olympic Games Museum; 22 acres of historic gardens and trails; the Kenan Research Center; and the Margaret Mitchell House located at their midtown campus.

Through 2015, the Atlanta History Center presents a series of exhibitions, research opportunities, and programs designed to commemorate the Civil War and help visitors of all ages understand the complexity of the issues surrounding the war. The Civil War Sesquicentennial presents a significant opportunity to study and reflect upon the Civil War and its legacy for all Americans. Year round, the Atlanta History Center welcomes visitors from all over the world to explore the Civil War through a variety of offerings, including the award-winning permanent exhibition, Turning Point: The American Civil War; temporary exhibitions, such as War in Our Backyards: Discovering Atlanta, 1861-1865, which showcases in-depth maps of the many struggles fought around the city of Atlanta; and a variety of public and school programs, making the History Center a must-visit destination for any Civil War enthusiast.

The Atlanta History Center invites your class to visit and learn all about the Civil War, as well as the culture of the Southeast, in another dimension beyond the classroom through enriching school tours and activities.

Guided Tours

The History Center offers multi-disciplinary and interactive guided tours for students of all ages that are both educational and fun. Tours are designed to match the state social studies requirements for the different grade levels.

Available tours include Roots of the Past: Exploring an 1860s Georgia Farm; In Their Mocassins: The Cherokee Journey of Change; Kenan Research Center Field Trips; and The Price of Freedom: Causes and Consequences of the Civil War.

The Price of Freedom: Causes and Consequences of the Civil War, one of the History Center’s all-new interactive field trip experiences, recently received a National Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AALSH). The tour was created to stimulate students beyond the text book and exhibition displays, immersive encounters combine with museum theatre and investigative activities to engage students in a completely new way. In this tour, students contemplate whether the Civil War was worth the cost to our nation through a variety of activities. Students formulate their own answer to this essential question as they role play as a civil war soldier in the Atlanta History Center’s Turning Point exhibition and make realistic, vital decisions that could affect their character’s life. Moving on to explore the Civil War through the eyes of Atlanta civilians, students experience the sights and sounds of a simulated bomb shelter during General Sherman’s epic bombardment in 1864 and learn what it would be like to live on the homefront in a target city. Later, in an inquiry-based classroom activity, students use critical thinking skills as they examine primary sources to discover why the South seceded from the Union. Lastly, students view a lively dramatic performance that illuminates the Emancipation Proclamation as both a political tool and an instrument of liberation. By the end of this tour, students will have done more than studied the history; they will have participated in it.

This tour is offered Monday – Friday; Grades 5-12; Limit 100 students; Duration 2 hours. For more information about this or other Atlanta History Center Guided School Tours, visit

Self Guided Tours

Teachers have the option to guide their own classes in select exhibitions in place of guided school tours. Teachers interested in a Self Guided Tour may request a free planning pass when registering for a tour. This offer applies only to teachers scheduling Self Guided Tours. Tours are offered Monday – Friday; After 12:30 PM; Duration 1½ hours. For more information, visit

Fridays in February

Celebrate Black History Month at the Atlanta History Center! Each Friday, students experience African American history, culture, and achievements during four specific time periods. This program includes a tour of History Center exhibitions, live performances, living history interpreters, and hands-on activities.

February 1, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Slave

February 8, 2013

From Slave to Soldier: The African American Experience

during the Civil War

February 15, 2013

Early Fight for Civil Rights: The African American

Experience Leading up to the Civil Rights Movement

February 22, 2013

The Civil Rights Movement

For more information about Fridays in February programs, visit For teachers and students alike, the Atlanta History Center may be the field trip destination of the school year! Book your class field trip to the Atlanta History Center and enjoy fun of historic proportions! Visit online at
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