Pre-Visit Activities

  • Museum Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm. Café Flo hours: 11:30am to 2:30pm, Tues-Sun.

Free Introductory DVD

Once Upon a Time in Old Lyme: The Story of An American Art Colony is a free video about the Lyme Art Colony. Using vintage photographs, paintings, and illustrations by renowned artist David Macaulay, it is a terrific pre-visit introduction to the Florence Griswold Museum.


The Museum has developed several tools to assist teachers in preparing their students for a visit to the Museum. Please consider using the following:

The Fox Chase and In Situ

Encourage your students to explore the Museum’s web sections, The Fox Chase: A Race Into History and In Situ: The Painted Panels to generate excitement and enthusiasm before the field trip.

Read The Story of Miss Florence

Read The Story of Miss Florence and the Lyme Art Colony aloud to your students and ask them what questions they might want to ask during their visit. A copy of is available in the Teacher Resources section.


Have your students illustrate one of the big ideas in The Story of Miss Florence and the Lyme Art Colony. Combine the images for a classroom book or hang a gallery of drawings in the classroom.

Play "The Wiggle Game"

Play the wiggle game, the drawing game that was popular with the artists of the Lyme Art Colony. See the Wiggles & Giggles lesson plan in the Lesson Plans section of the Teacher Resources and visit the wiggle drawing gallery in the Teacher Resources.

Wiggles & Giggles

Watch "A Certain Light"

View the Museum’s introductory video, A Certain Light, with your students. Although geared for a general audience, this twelve minute DVD tells the story Miss Florence and the Artists of Old Lyme. Contact Mollie Clarke at (860) 434-5542, ext. 113 or mollie@flogris.org to get your loan copy.

Great Expectations

Make a Great Expectations! Chart to learn what the students think they will experience during their visit to the Florence Griswold Museum. Use this website to enhance their expectations.

Talk About Museum Manners

Brainstorm about ways to behave when visiting a museum. A list of manners is available in the Museum Manners section. Discuss why each rule is important.

Museum Manners

Examine a Map

Find Old Lyme on a map of Connecticut. Imagine aloud what the area might look like during the season of your visit.

View the Online Learning Portfolios

Explore the various learning portfolios in the Teacher Resources section. Have the students describe what they see and make a list of questions about the objects and images.

Teacher Resources

Brainstorm Questions

Ask students to write down questions they may have and bring them along so they can ask a Museum Educator.

Gather Resources

Fill your classroom with books about American Impressionism, French Impressionism, Artist Colonies, Connecticut Artists. Use the bibliography section of the Resources for Educators to see a list of books.

Listen to Music

Listen to music that was popular in 1910.

Adopt an Artist

Have the students “adopt” one of the artists in The Fox Chase and become the expert on that person. Have them share information by completing the sentence, “The most interesting thing about [insert name of artist, for example “Childe Hassam”] is that he/she…” Encourage the students to be on the look out for art by their artist during their visit.

The Fox Chase

Form Research Groups

Divide the class into small research groups to develop student roles as “specialists” on a certain topic. Use this website as the starting point for your research. Some suggested topics are:

The Lyme Art Colony
American Impressionism
Boardinghouses in America
Painting En Plein Air
Who was Miss Florence?