General Use

Welcome to SEE/change, an online learning portal for teachers and students.

A sea of change is underway in Connecticut’s schools. While national Common Core Standards have been adopted in most states (including Connecticut), new Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks were approved in 2015 to serve as a model for substantial curriculum change in schools statewide. The challenge is great for Connecticut teachers, who are being called upon to reboot their approach to teaching.

This prototype for an online learning resource for Connecticut teachers and students in grades 3-5 is the outcome of the the Museum’s yearlong (2017) project focusing on Seven Miles to Farmington by Connecticut artist George H. Durrie (1820-1863). Click here to see the roster of partcipants on our Project Team.

Inspired by the new Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks SEE/change investigates the potential of using a painting as a primary document of the past to help teachers and students learn about Connecticut history.

This project was funded by a Museums For America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency based in Washington, D.C. [Grant MA-10-16-0179-16.]

How to Use This Site

The site offers various ways to explore and learn more about the painting as well as tools for teachers to use to teach Connecticut History using the painting as a primary resource.

In the About the Painting section, users can learn more about:

About the Art
This section explains how the painting “Seven Miles to Farmington” was made and what it reveals about Connecticut in 1853.

About the Artist
This section explores the life of the George H. Durrie, the man who made this painting and what does his life story reveals about the culture of Connecticut.

About the Inn
This section investigates the role of the country inn, the central image in this painting, as a place for travelers to dine and spend the night. Places such as this played an important role in the history and culture of Connecticut.

About the People
This section looks closely at all the people who are working or arriving at the inn. Their various roles can be uncovered through close looking at their clothing and activity.

About the Location
This section looks at the landscape and nature depicted in the painting. From the boulders in the foreground to the mountain in the distance, the natural elements are instructive to a time and place in Connecticut.

In the Learning Tools section, users will find:

Portfolio of Related Durrie Paintings
This section offers a selection of Durrie paintings that directly relate to “Seven Miles to Farmington” from various collections. There is also a ZOOM feature that affords very close looking at the details.

What’s What in the Painting: A Visual Glossary
This section helps the viewer to identify everything in the painting, often offering additional versions of similar items from other Durrie paintings.

A Timeline
This section highlights the major events in Durrie’s life and artistic career as well as historically significant moments in Connecticut, the U.S., and the world.

This section offers short videos that better reveal some information related to the painting, “Seven Miles to Farmington.”

In the Games & Activities section, users can test their knowledge of the painting with online prompts:

Spot the Difference
This game challenges users to compare two version of the country inn on a winter’s day by painted by Durrie. The artists made his paintings look very much the same but still not exact copies. User can see how many of the differences they can find.

Become the Art Expert
This activity test the user’s memory of the key painting. Users compare different images of the same type of objects from various Durrie paintings and identify which detail is from “Seven Miles to Farmington.” This activity comes in two degrees of difficulty.

Create Your Own Adventure
This activity allows the user to create their own animated version of a story based on the people, activities, and places in the painting.

Look with Your Ears
This activity allows the user to hear the sound made by objects in the painting. Users can click on dots in the painting to hear what each might sound like. They can also look at a list of sounds and link them to what makes them in the painting.

In the For Teachers section, educators can find:


Learning Experience Plan #1:  Geared for Grade Level 3

CT Then & Now—This lesson allows students to compare life in historical time periods to life today, and is an introduction to Connecticut.


Learning Experience Plan #2: Geared for Grade Level 2

History Hunt: Using Primary and Secondary Resources—This lesson allows students to develop the knowledge needed to research individuals or groups who have made a difference in society, and how and why we remember the past.


Learning Experience Plan #3: Geared for Grade Level 5

How to Read a Primary Source— This lesson allows students to compare information provided by different historical sources about the past, evaluate sources using evidence, and gather relevant information from multiple sources while using the origin, structure and context to guide the selection.


Learning Experience Plan #4: Geared for Grade Levels 4 and 5

Jingling All the Way to the Inn—This lesson allows students to learn the history behind the song Jingle Bells, compare Jingle Bells to other historical songs and customs, relate Jingle Bells to the painting Seven Miles to Farmington, and learn elements of song structure and writing by working in groups.


Learning Experience Plan #5: Geared for Grade Level 5

Occupations and Wax Museum Presentations—This lesson allows students to identify occupations and roles of individuals and animals performed in the masterpiece artwork, Seven Miles to Farmington, and compare them to jobs of today and present information in a Wax Museum format.

Resources & Bibliography

View Resources