The Georgia History Festival is the signature K-12 educational program of the Georgia Historical Society, reaching hundreds of thousands of students statewide. Beginning with the new school year in September, a variety of public programs, exhibits, events, and educational resources bring history to life for students of all ages and encourage Georgians to explore the richness and diversity of our state’s past. In addition to new online and in-person programming, the Festival includes popular annual events like the Colonial Faire and Muster living-history program held at Wormsloe State Historic Site, Super Museum Sunday, and the elegant Trustees Gala.
Governing Georgia Across Three Centuries
Each year, GHS selects a significant topic in Georgia’s history as the focus of the Festival’s educational programs and resources. The 2023-2024 focus of study will be, Governing Georgia Across Three Centuries.
From online and in-person programs and events for the public to new classroom resources and training opportunities for teachers, the 2023-2024 Georgia History Festival will explore three centuries of self-governance in Georgia. Although Georgians have been governing themselves since 1733, the structure, leadership, and tenets of government have been debated and changed many times.
This focus of study, aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence, will support students’ understanding of the history and legacy of Georgia’s government and examine the impact of those who have governed, and the people’s power to shape, expand, and strengthen democracy over time.
Explore new educational resources and opportunities developed for the 2023-24 Georgia History Festival below!
A Legacy of Leadership: Georgia's Elected Officials
To support the 2024 Georgia Day Banner and Art Competitions, GHS presents classroom-ready resources that encourage students to explore “A Legacy of Leadership.” Comprised of a unique digital resource, a primary source set, and a teacher guide, this new classroom resource bundle helps students understand how Georgia’s elected officials have demonstrated leadership qualities and executed their responsibility to govern. All resource elements are aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence.
A Legacy of Leadership Digital Resource: Featuring elected officials throughout our state’s history, this standards-based resource helps students better understand some of the most significant moments and trends in Georgia and American history through the stories of our most influential leaders.
A Legacy of Leadership Primary Source Set: Complementing the digital resource A Legacy of Leadership, this curated collection of historical documents and images encourages an examination of some of Georgia’s most important leaders.
A Legacy of Leadership Teacher Guide: Supporting the classroom resources, A Legacy of Leadership Teacher Guide contains hands-on activities and strategies to encourage critical thinking and analysis. The Guide also contains links to GHS and additional resources to enhance instruction of the featured topics and historical figures.
Historical Inquiries: Three Branches of Government
These classroom-ready online resources encourage students to learn about our three branches of government by exploring key moments in Georgia and American history and asking questions about the development and evolution of our governmental system. These inquiry-based resources are aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence and encourage students to examine primary documents and secondary sources to gain a better understanding of the ongoing story of our American democracy.
K-12 Education Webinar Series
During the 2023 - 2024 Georgia History Festival, GHS education staff will host a series of informational and training webinars online via Zoom. All webinars are free to attend but require registration.
September 12, 2023, 4:00 p.m. | Online | Register to Attend
Presenting unique collections of archival materials and other GHS research tools, this webinar for 5th-12th graders introduces students to the work of historical archives focusing on online resources to demystify the process of historical research.
November 14, 2023, 4:00 p.m. | Online | Register to Attend
Highlighting the A Legacy of Leadership: Georgia’s Elected Officials digital publication, this live webinar for K-12 teachers will support and encourage student participation in the annual Georgia Day events.
December 5, 2023, 4:00 p.m. | Online | Register to Attend
This live webinar for K-12 teachers will support education resources created to enhance special Festival editions of Dispatches from Off the Deaton Path.
Georgia Day Expo Informational Webinar
January 9, 2024, 4:00 p.m. | Online | Registration opens soon
An informational webinar for educators, parents, chaperones, etc. to learn about the logistics of the Georgia Day Expo.
Business and History Initiative (BHI) Classroom Resources Webinar
March, 2024 | Online | Registration opens soon
This training webinar will highlight case studies and other educational resources developed for the Georgia Business History Initiative that feature the significance of the partnerships and collaborations between businesses, government, non-profit organizations, and private citizens that have been integral to the development of our communities over the past century. We will explore the results of past collaborations as well as how companies and government can work together today.
Field Trips to the GHS Research Center
During the 2023-2024 Georgia History Festival, GHS will host field trips to the Research Center. Field trip options will include a theme-based Research Round-Up, a program that encourages K-12 students to conduct primary and secondary source research using materials from the GHS collection.
Research Center field trips are open to students in grades 5-12 and are ideal for groups of up to 30 people. All groups should provide one chaperone per 10 students, although more may be necessary depending on individual program requirements. All program requirements will be shared and agreed upon before final arrangements are made. Typical field trips last 1.5-2 hours.
To learn more please call 912-651-2125 Ext. 152 or visit georgiahistory.com/field-trips.
Dispatches From Off the Deaton Path Classroom Resources
Dr. Stan Deaton, the Dr. Elaine B. Andrews Distinguished Historian, and the Georgia Historical Society will host a series of four online videos discussing topics related to the Festival’s focus of study in his video blog, Dispatches from Off the Deaton Path. Each video will be accompanied by a classroom ready, standards-based educational activity featuring primary sources from the Georgia Historical Society’s archival collections.
The videos will be posted below as they are released, along with classroom worksheets for elementary and middle and high school students.
Videos and Classroom Worksheets
Georgia Day Video
Premiering February 12, 2024
In recognition of the anniversary of Georgia’s founding, this short online program is a visual exploration of the colony’s founding and early development. Featuring greetings from friends and leaders across the state, this all-ages presentation includes classroom resources for guided listening by Georgia students.
Georgia Day Statewide Student Art Contest and Georgia Day Banner Competition
In keeping with the Georgia History Festival (GHF) theme, “Governing Georgia Across Three Centuries,” this year’s Georgia Day Statewide Art Contest and Georgia Day Banner Competition challenge students to explore the topic “A Legacy of Leadership: Georgia’s Elected Officials.” Using creativity, students will illustrate how Georgia’s elected officials have demonstrated leadership qualities and executed their responsibility to govern. Through this year’s theme students can explore elected officials from throughout Georgia’s history, including those governing their hometowns.
The Georgia Day Statewide Art Contest opens October 16, 2023! Read about the contest, how to enter, and related educator resources.