CELEBRATING A CENTURY!  Thank You for Celebrating with us! Learn More about the 100th.


With the assistance of educators at the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District, Wenham Museum prepared an Interdisciplinary Curriculum Guide for teachers to use whether in preparation for a visit from Miss Columbia during  her centennial tour, or creating a meaningful program to help celebrate the turning of a new century.

The year 2000 offered us an incredible opportunity to step back and look at the enormous changes the last century has brought. These new developments, particularly in communication and transportation, have enabled us to connect, teach, and learn from people in communities across the world. The Guide, therefore, devotes itself largely to these two themes: comparing life in the year 1900 with everyday life today, and exploring our global neighborhood.

Below you’ll find the curriculum’s Table of Contents. Download the Miss Columbia Curriculum here.

Part 1:    Introduction

  • 1.1    What’s Important to Know
  • 1.2    How to Get Started
  • 1.3    Suggested “Itineraries” for One-Day, Week-long, and Year-long Celebrations
  • 1.4    Table of Activities by Curriculum and Grade Level
  • 1.5    Connecting with Other Schools and Communities
  • 1.6    Making Your Contribution to Miss Columbia’s Trip

Part 2:    The First Voyage Around the World

  • 2.1    Around the World in 1000 Days: Highlights of the First Voyage
  • 2.2     My Trip Around the World: Excerpts From Miss Columbia’s Journal
  • 2.3     Preview Activity: Putting Yourself in Miss Columbia’s Shoes

Part 3:    Then and Now: Comparing Life in 1900 with Life in the Year 2000

  • 3.1     Setup Activity for Part 3: Timeline of the Century 
    Build a giant wall chart illustrating how much change a century can bring.
  • Student teams or classes research and create displays about 100 years of change in such areas as communication, transportation, music, art, sports, and technology.
  • 3.2     Life at Home, Then and Now
    3.2.1     Writing a Journal — the Old-Fashioned Way
    Can your students write diary entries and newspaper accounts the way they might have been written a century ago?

    • Students research and compare their daily life with that of 1900.
    • Using local resources such as historical societies, museums, and libraries.
  • 3.2.2     Time Machine: What If You Were Hosting Miss Columbia Way Back Then?
    Student teams go back 100 years in time and imagine what their school’s hosting of Miss Columbia would have been like.

    • Cooking for Miss Columbia — how would a 1900-era feast have different from what we would prepare today?
    • Music Then and Music Now — how would the celebrations differ?
  • 3.2.3     Gifts for Miss Columbia: A History Mystery
    Student “museum research experts” differentiate between items that might have been given to Miss Columbia during her first voyage — and others that could not possibly have been given to her.

    • What will your school give to Miss Columbia on her current voyage? Use this activity as a preface before deciding.
  • 3.3 In the News, Then and Now
    3.3.1     Find Miss Columbia!
    Students research and then use century-old communication techniques (such as Morse Code) to find Miss Columbia—lost, somewhere in the world.

    • Bonus activity: understanding digital codes, and using them to find Miss Columbia
  • 3.3.2     Follow the Trail
    Students uncover clues from the journal to trace Miss Columbia’s route around the world in 1900-1902.

    • How would your students travel around the world now, if they could? How would their travel experience differ from Miss Columbia’s?
  • 3.3.3     Faster. Faster! Faster!!
    Student teams race each other with the century’s dominant forms of transportation.

    • Students practice math skills and research changes in transportation as part of an around-the-world race.

Part 4:    Here and There: Exploring Our Global Neighborhood

  • 4.1     Setup Activity for Part 4
    The ___(name of school) Customs Office
    Creating a passport page and stamp for Miss Columbia’s passport

    • Students produce an official entry that represents their school and community and that will become part of Miss Columbia’s permanent collection.
  • 4.2     Life at Home, Here and There
    4.2.1     Pick a Place, Any Place
    Student teams explore a distant community and prepare a representative passport page and stamp4.3    In the News, Here and There

    • An opportunity to fit the Miss Columbia project in with current geography curriculum throughout the school.
  • 4.2.2     Sharing with Your Sister Community
    Let Miss Columbia link your school with another in a faraway place

    • Wenham Museum acts as matchmaker for schools seeking a sister school to collaborate with on the project.
  • 4.2.3     The Secret Language of Dolls
    Students practice descriptive writing in describing different dolls they bring in from home, including those representing other cultures, and create a paper doll for Miss Columbia’s permanent museum exhibit. 
  • 4.3.1     The Money Bazaar
    In this math exercise, student travelers exchange multiple currencies in an international money marketplace. Their goal? End the activity with exactly the same amount they had in the beginning! 
    4.3.2     “Columbia”: a World of Meaning in a Word
    Students explore the roots of the word “Columbia” and its many expressions as a place-name around the world 
    4.3.3     In the Year 2100: Miss Columbia Strikes Again!
    A final assessment activity. Students re-examine their work on the preview activity (2.2), and write a newspaper account of Miss Columbia’s third global tour in the year 2100.

Part 5:    Miss Columbia’s Toolkit

  • 5.1     Books, Maps, Resources and Websites
  • 5.2     Certificates and Other Reproducibles
  • 5.3     Sample Memos and Letters to Teachers and Families
  • 5.4     Evaluation Form