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Educational Programs 

The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum is proud to present quality education programs for K-12th grade students. The programs are designed to complement your curriculum, meet Sunshine State Standards, and offer a variety of activities during your Museum experience. Special exhibitions may be offered throughout the year. Please call for details.

The purpose of the hands-on activities and the importance of the actual documents and artifacts bring relevance to the experience. Students discover the secrets of Citrus County's past as tour guides present the facts and folklore of the region in an active and creative manner for classes of all ages.

Book Your Tour Today

Call The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum at 352-341-6428 or 352-341-6436 or e-mail

Please be prepared to provide your name, school or group name, address, phone number, fax number, e-mail address, grade level, number of students and adults expected, preferred dates, and any special needs.

We request that you call at least one month in advance of your desired program date to make your reservation. Once you have scheduled your program, you will receive a pre-visit package by mail.

The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum makes available at no charge seven traveling resource trunks for teachers to check out during the school year. An extension of the museum experience, these trunks bring resources to the classroom and include lesson plans, activities, transparency, handouts already copied for students, historic photographs, replicated pre-historic tools, time-lines, videos and much, much more. Subject areas include the following:

1. Florida Report Resources
2. Archaeology and Native American History ­ Prehistoric Period
3. Archaeology and Native American ­ Historic Period
4. Archives, teaching with primary and secondary source documents
5. Folklife & Folklore
6. Architecture
7. African American History

Museum Etiquette

  • Look with your eyes and not with your hands. Your hands have natural oils on them which can damage the Museum’s “artifacts”.
  • Walk, DO NOT run, in the building.
  • Do not go behind roped off areas.
  • Speak with a quiet voice.
  • Remain with your chaperone and your group.
  • Remember our docents (guides) are volunteers, which means they are not paid for the work they do. Please treat them with courtesy and respect.
  • Listen when the Museum docent is speaking. He/she has a lot of information to share.
  • Raise your hand to get the attention of your docent.
  • Please feel free to ask questions.
  • Print Museum Etiquette Here


Tours MUST start on time. Please be ready to leave your school on time so that you arrive at the Museum 10 minutes before your scheduled tour time. This will ensure that your group has sufficient time to tour the entire Museum.
A confirmation will be sent to you 10 days prior to your visit.


SUPERVISION: *A minimum of one supervising adult for
every ten students/children is required.

Teachers should be sure all chaperones understand their duties before the visit.

Chaperones should:

  • supervise their group and maintain order.
  • stay with their students at all times and help them move quietly through the museum.
  • assist the teacher and docent in providing a positive learning experience.

Please ask chaperones to monitor the entrance to the gift shop so that no more than ten students are shopping at one time.

  1. DO NOT run in the Museum
  2. DO NOT touch anything on display unless you are instructed to do so.
  3. DO NOT chew gum, eat or drink in the Museum.
  4. DO NOT talk loudly, yell or shout in the Museum.

The above rules apply to students AND their chaperones!
These rules help make everyone’s visit an enjoyable experience, and at the same time helps protect the artifacts for future visitors to study and admire.

Buses School buses may park in the public Parking lot on the east side of the Old Courthouse. Cars Chaperones are welcome to park in the parking lot on the east side of the Old Courthouse, or parallel park around Courthouse Square.

Open grassy areas are available for fair weather lunches. There are no picnic tables at the Museum.
Located on the water, Wallace Brooks Park is approximately 3/4 of a mile northeast of the museum at the intersection of Dampier Street and Martin Luther King Drive. The park has picnic and playground facilities.

Print Information for School Groups Here

Call the Museum at 352-341-6429 or 352-341-6428 or e-mail us


Teaching with Timeposts
: Introduce time depth and time sequence to your students by linking dates, people and events which are familiar to them on a personal level.

Why is the Past Important?: Material evidence of the human past is particularly fragile in Florida. Introduce your students, on a personal and shared cultural level, to the basic concepts of the nature, the importance and the fragility of the past and its preservation.

Farm Life in the Early 1800s: Study what life would be like living on a pioneer farm. Have your students compare their lives today with life in rural Florida in the 1800s.

Florida Place Names: Demonstrate the ways places acquire names in Florida and what they tell us about our history, people and environment.

World War II Comes to Florida: Introduce students to the ways in which World War II affected the land and people of Florida. Exercise students’ visualizing, imaginative, and creative skills by imparting a sense of what life was like in Florida during World War II.

What Buildings Tell Us: Guide your students in exploring the past through architecture. Acquaint them with the ways in which historic roots, climate, environment, technology, safety or defense dictate how a building is constructed.

Discovering Florida’s Indian Mounds: Examine Florida’s Indian mounds – what they were used for, how they were formed and what they are made of. Study a profile of a mound by demonstrating how one was built.

Hurricanes and Florida’s Heritage: Help your students become aware of how hurricanes have affected Florida’s early twentieth century history, people, and places. Introduce them to the immediate and long term effects of hurricanes on Florida’s heritage.

Fort Mose: A Free Black Community: Fort Mose was the first free black town in North America. Tell the story of the determined and resourceful people of color who escaped slavery and found freedom in Spanish Florida.

Should We Preserve?: Historical resources belong to everyone. Explore the concepts of historic preservation and heritage and encourage your students to confront current events and historic places.

Discovering Florida After the Ice Age: Study the Paleoindians, Florida’s first people. Help your students to recognize the unique properties of ancient wet archaeological sites and to understand what we can learn from them.

The Calusa Indians: Acquaint your students with the Calusa people of southwest Florida. Explore the world of these fierce natives and learn how they lived, worked, and played.


The Demise of Native Populations in Florida: Few students are aware that the Seminoles were not the first peoples of Florida. Explore the reasons why the original inhabitants disappeared soon after European contact.

The Apalachee Indians of Florida: This native tribe of North Florida had an agricultural society. Learn about this tribe and participate in an activity designed to allow students to compare the Apalachee diet with their own tribe.

The Timucua Indians of Florida: The earliest sketches of Florida natives were the Timucua. This lesson provides specific information on how these peoples conducted their lives and learned their own language.

The Seminoles in Colonial Times: The Seminoles are the most recognized of the tribes of Florida. See how they came to be in Florida. Have your students participate in a discussion of native Seminole apparel.

Colonial Pensacola: While many people know that St. Augustine was founded in 1565, few know that Pensacola was first settled in 1559! Take your students back in time to the Second Spanish Period of 1783 – 1821.

The Maple Leaf, A Civil War Shipwreck: Everybody knows the Civil War was fought in the South, but there are precious few such sites in Florida. One, located at the bottom of the St. Johns River, has produced thousands of artifacts.

Steamboats in 19th Century Florida: Before there were cars, airplanes, or even railroads, there were steamships. Take a trip down the St. Johns with primary accounts of such trips from the mid-1800s.

One Room Schoolhouses of Florida: Schools have not always been air conditioned. Buses have not always been available. Students can participate in a day at school in the 1890s and “see Florida through different eyes.”

Historic Courthouses in Florida: Why do we have courthouses? This lesson gives us reasons why and how, while featuring the Citrus County Courthouse.

Jewish Settlement in Florida: Were Jews in Florida long ago? Of course they were. Florida’s Jews made many, many contributions to the state and the country. Visit four families and learn their tales of settlement in Florida.

Oral Histories and the 1960s: Today’s kids are hearing all about the ‘60s and ‘70s. Use this lesson to teach them what was going on in Florida during this boom period of our state’s history. Then, show them how to take an oral history.

Print Overview of Lesson Plans Here

To view/print the above PDF Guide, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. Most computers come with this program pre-installed. However, if you cannot view the link above, please click here to download and install the latest version of Acrobat Reader.

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