Hawaiian Mission Houses offers virtual field trip program

Field trip curriculum meets all Department of Education benchmarks

Hawaiian Mission Houses has a new interactive virtual field trip program. The content-rich and customizable field trips are open to all ages, grades K-12, and include live, guided tours of the Hawaiian Mission Houses, historical theater performances, an interactive Q&A for students, and the option of tours in ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi and English.

Hawaiian Mission Houses is a National Historic Landmark and a popular field trip location for students to discover Hawaiʻi’s history; a normal year bringing over 4,000 students to its site. HMH created this virtual field trip in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is supported by grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities CARES Act and the Institute for Museum and Library Services CARES Act funding.

The field trip curriculum meets all Department of Education benchmarks with special attention to College, Career and Civil Life (C3) Framework for State Social Studies Standards. Teachers can design a virtual field trip experience and select from a menu of education options needed for their class, age group, and curriculum requirements. The new virtual format opens the field trip to not only Oahu students but neighbor island students, as well as students on the continent.

Hawaiian Mission House’s Executive Team Member, Elizabeth Poʻoloa says of the program, “We’re excited to share this new interactive field trip with students throughout Hawaiʻi! Virtual learning can be a challenge which is why we’ve created this program to be fun and engaging. There are theater performances that bring Hawaiʻi’s history to life and the interactive tour includes thought-provoking questions for students to really absorb the history they’re seeing. And don’t forget, there are scholarships available!”

Lisa Chow, another Executive Team Member, explains, “Our field trips take students beyond the experience of the missionaries and give them a 360-degree view of how aliʻi, Kānaka Maoli, Pacific Islanders, and missionaries interacted interacted at a pivotal time in Hawaiʻi’s history. It shows students different viewpoints and how people worked together and the impact that had on the world we live in today. We interact with students and examine how we, too, can come together with different viewpoints.”

A signature piece of the program is HMH’s History Theatre, where the stories of historical Hawaiian figures are told in a first-person style. Local, acclaimed actors bring each person to life, with scripts that incorporate the historical figure’s own words. Historical portrayals include: David Malo, John Papa Ī‘ī, Emma Nakuina, Emma Nāwahī, Henry ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia, Ethel Baldwin, Betsey Stockton, Annie Alexander, and more. Performances and accompanying curriculum are best suited for grades 7-12.

Here is a summary of the new virtual field trip’s offerings:

  • Fulfillment of Department of Education requirements — the dynamic virtual program has been designed to meet Hawaii Department of Education benchmarks including College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework for State Social Studies Standards.
  • Tours are offered in both ‘ōlelo Hawaiʻi and in English.
  • Field trips are adaptable for grades K-12 and are tailored to the specific needs of each class. HMH staff works directly with teachers to configure the ideal educational program, including pre- and post-tour activities.
  • It brings Hawaiian history to life with letters, records, and oratorical pieces and teaches students about Hawaiʻi’s ali‘i, makaʻāinana, missionaries, and children’s lives and activities in the 19th century; including inspiring life stories from the perspective of music, art, and dance.
  • Field trip fees are affordable for school budgets, and many scholarships are available! 

The new virtual field trips are open and available to book now. Those interested in learning more should visit www.missionhouses.org/school-programs/ or email hmheducation@missionhouses.org.