Gunston Hall, Home of George Mason
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At Gunston Hall plantation in northern Virginia, the past offers exciting adventures in learning and hands-on discovery.  Students consider the ideas of Founding Father George Mason and find out what life was like for his family, slaves, and servants over 225 years ago.  Their experience is coordinated with the Virginia Standards for Learning for the teaching of social studies in elementary and secondary schools. The past offers exciting adventures in learning & hands-on inquiry.  Education Brochure pdf

Explore ... Consider ... Try It!

On-Site ProgramsWe Come to YouSchool EventsWrite About It!


  Gunstonian greeting students
Photo by Jack L. Hiller

On-Site Programs

Grades 1-12                                                       


Learn about George Mason— American patriot, brilliant author, husband and father, slave owner and successful planter. Discover how Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights and his contributions to The Constitution of the United States shaped American government.

Examine the magnificent rooms of Mason’s home, and explore the lives of the Mason family, indentured servants, and enslaved workers who lived at Gunston Hall in the 18th century. Enjoy lively, interactive tours of the Mansion, schoolhouse, kitchen yard, grounds, Touch Museum, and the Visitors Center galleries.
Allow ninety minutes on-site.

Grades 3-12
Tailored Tours
Gunston Hall’s education staff will work with teachers in customizing your on-site or outreach experience to address a particular curricular interest, such as George Mason as Patriot, the tobacco economy, slavery, or day-to-day life on a Virginia plantation. A variety of hands-on activities including a visit to the Touch Museum may enrich presentations to students.

Extraordinary Tours
Extraordinary tours are designed for groups of 40-85 students and are offered on a limited basis throughout the school year. Tours will feature conversations with costumed characters from the past, hearth- cooking demonstrations, 18th century games, penmanship, and deportment lessons. Allow 2 1/4 hours for this deluxe tour experience.

We’re Coordinated
All school tours and classroom programs satisfy specific Virginia Standards of Learning. To receive a complete list of standards covered by each school offering, contact the Education Department at 703-550-9220, ext. 239.  


Tour Fees

George Mason’s Plantation World Tour $5.00
Extraordinary History Tours   $7.00
Tailored Tours                       $7.00

Chaperones                           $7.00
Teachers and Bus Drivers
(up to two teachers per class)      Complimentary

One Chaperone is required for each twelve students. One home school parent per group of twelve students is admitted free of charge. Additional adults pay the chaperone rate. All school tours and classroom programs satisfy specific Virginia Standards of Learning. Reservations are required for all programs.  Telephone for reservations Monday-Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 703-550-9220. Student tours are welcomed throughout the year, including the summer months; booking for upcoming school year tours begins on the first Monday in June.


Gunston Hall is committed to providing services to individuals with disabilities. In advance of a school visit, teachers should request and complete a “Class Profile Sheet” describing the special needs of students.
Contact the Reception Desk at 703-550-9220 for information.

Who Conducts Your Tour
All school tours are conducted by members of the Gunston Hall Docents’ Association. These volunteers have all received extensive training in 18th century living, history, politics, and architecture, and are well-educated in techniques for teaching young people. Many of the docents are retired educators and several have over 20 years of experience giving tours at Gunston Hall.

Your classes will be divided into groups and an appropriate number of docents will be assigned to give each group of 10-15 students a tour with a personal touch.

We Come to You

Gunston Hall Docent visiting 4th grade classroom at Gunston Elementary School
Photo by Jack L. Hiller

Grades 4, 5, & 6
We Come to Your Classroom
Meet George Mason

Gunston Hall docents bring the 18th century into your classroom with this outreach program that presents George Mason as author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, as a principal contributor to the U.S. Constitution, and as a planter, businessman, and slave owner. Using hands-on objects and visuals, students explore the day-to-day life of planter families, indentured servants, and slaves.

This program is offered to public and private schools in Arlington, Fairfax and eastern Prince William counties and the City of Alexandria. 
Program: 1 1/2 hours.
Please schedule this visit no earlier than 10:00 a.m.

Recommended Group Size: Up to 35 students. 

Fee: $65.

African-American student writing "All men are born equally free" with a quill pen
Photo by Jack L. Hiller

Exciting and Interactive School Events

Special Events

Grades 4 and Up
Constitution Day:
An Interactive Program on George Mason and the Constitution

Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Wednesday, September 15, 2012

Join us for this hands-on day focusing on George Mason’s world at the creation of the United States Constitution. Find out about Mason’s role in creating the Constitution and why he refused to sign it. Students discover the social and economic conditions of 1787 Virginia, help prepare foods popular in at the time; practice penmanship skills; discuss politics with characters from the past; and experience 18th century entertainments, among other activities.

Tours begin at 10:00 and 10:45 a.m.
Program: 2 1/4 hours.
Group Size: Open
One chaperone required per 12 to 15 students 

Students $7
School staff members (up to 2 per class): free
Chaperones  $7

Home schoolers are welcome in groups of at least 12 4th – 12th  graders.
One home school parent per group of 12 students is admitted free of charge; others must pay the chaperone rate.

Grades 4 - 6  
Hands-On Colonial Days: 
At Home with George Mason
Thursday, October 20, 2011                       
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Thursday, April 18, 2013

Students are immersed in the people and activities of an 18th century Virginia plantation. Students carry out plantation jobs in the kitchen yard; interact with characters from George Mason’s time; and play colonial games on the plantation lawns. The schedule includes daily life demonstrations and hands-on opportunities. Student-friendly tours of the mansion and a story telling program are special features of the day.

Reservations taken for 10:00 and 10:30 a.m.
Program: 2 1/4 hours.
Group Size: Open
One chaperone required per 12 to 15 students 

Students $7
School staff members (up to 2 per class): free
Chaperones  $7

Home schoolers are welcome in groups of at least 12 4th - 6th graders only (no young students). One home school parent per group of 12 students is admitted free of charge; others must pay the chaperone rate.

Education Brochure pdf

Write About It! 

During the day-long Christy Hartman Myers Writing Workshop, students have the opportunity to try out different forms of writing, including non-fiction, historical fiction, journalism, and poetry. They also will learn how an author can be his or her own illustrator. A focus for the writing will be key events in George Mason’s life. The program, held in the spring, is open to current 4th and 5th graders throughout the region. All sessions, materials, lunch, and snacks are included in a modest fee. Reservations are required and space is limited. After January 5, please call 703-550-9220 for additional information.
The annual Christy Hartman Myers Writing Award will be selected each spring. The competition, which involves writing an essay in the classroom on George Mason, is open to 4th graders who experience Gunston Hall on a class field trip or in an outreach program. A check for $100 will be awarded to the author of the winning essay. Details on the initiative will be provided to teachers reserving a school tour or outreach program.

From the Writing Workshop in June, submitted by Wan Ying Li, now a fifth grade student at Lorton Station School.


Hope is like the air.
We need them both everyday.
It passes through your hair and helps you breath.

Hope is like a warm fireplace.
It feels good when you are cold.

Hope is like a pretty flower.
It smells good when you hold it close to you.

Hope is like a sunset.
When you look at it, it is beautiful.

Hope is like a song.
When you hear it,
you will always remember it.

Hope is everywhere.
                                  Wan Ying Li


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