Looking for educational programs that are right for your class? The Watkins Museum offers classroom visits (in-person & virtual) and field trips for pre-K, elementary, middle, and high school students. The museum also offers classes for homeschool students ages 5-16. To schedule your experience with the Watkins Museum or discuss options for developing a custom program, contact:

Cherrie Preut, Education Coordinator
(785) 841-4109
[email protected]

Homeschool History

Looking for an educational and fun activity for your child? The Watkins Museum shares Douglas County History with homeschool students ages 5-10 and 11-16. Class time includes exploring the galleries and using artifacts to learn about the people and places of Douglas County. Older homeschool students will also participate in tours and visit other Douglas County historic sites.

Field Trip Busing

Does your school need help with transportation costs for a history-themed field trip? Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area offers Bus on Us grants to reimburse expenses. More information is available here:

Classes, Tours, & Field Trips

To ensure visiting the Watkins Museum is a fun and educational experience for everyone, please read the museum’s visitor expectations for students, teachers, and parents/guardians participating in field trips. If you wish to schedule a field trip, please fill out the request form below.

Douglas County SchoolsFREE
Douglas County Daycares$2 per child
Schools/Daycares Outside of Douglas County$5 per student

Teacher Resources

Graphic Novel: The Rescue of John Doy

The exciting true story of the rescue of abolitionist John Doy in 1859. Adapted by Cherrie Preut from The Narrative of John Doy and illustrated by Maya Amen. (We recommend reading the document in full-screen mode to avoid ads.)

Maggie Herrington Journal-Class Activity

Use excerpts from Maggie’s journal to learn about her life in early Lawrence. May be done at your school or at the museum.

Women of Wonder

Learn about women who helped Lawrence develop and thrive.

Other Tours:

  • Quantrill’s Raid and the Civil War
  • Life in Early Lawrence
  • The Watkins Building
  • Filmmaking in Lawrence and Douglas County
  • Agriculture/Agribusiness
  • Railroads
Bloody Dawn by Ernst Ulmer

Douglas County Partner Tours & Field Trips:

Communities of the Wakarusa Valley in Douglas County: Richland

The Underground Railroad in Kansas: Angels of Freedom

Then and Now…Communities Establish and Evolve

Getting Started: A New Life on the Kansas Frontier

Lecompton – The Birthplace of the Civil War Tour/Field Trip

History Day

History Day is a year long learning opportunity for students in grades six through twelve, that offers students the opportunity to explore topics that interests them. They conduct research, using primary and secondary resources, and then analyze the information, in light of an over-arching historical theme or question.

For more information, visit Kansas History Day’s website.