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  • Ephrata Cloister

    Education Programs

Bring the Historic Ephrata Cloister into your classroom with this new series of virtual school visits!

These programs provide a substitute for in-person field trips to the National Historic Landmark while the site remains closed during the pandemic. The series, called Obed’s Classroom, draws its name from Brother Obed, Ephrata’s first school teacher who offered lessons to children starting in the mid-1700s. The four virtual lessons, designed for grades three to five, each last about 30 minutes and explore different aspects of the community’s history popular with students visiting the museum.  Teachers have the flexibility to schedule the lessons as a full unit in one day, or as four separate virtual visits at different times. Each lesson can accommodate up to 30 students. A packet of essential questions, background information, and follow-up materials accompanies each lesson. Teachers are required to attend a brief pre-conference visit with the Museum Educator prior to the first live classroom visit to review the technology and the classroom procedures.

The full series of Obed’s Classroom lessons is available for $75, with a discount available for two or more classrooms in the same school. Contact Museum Educator Michael Showalter at to arrange to bring this new virtual experience to a classroom.

 Where Ephrata BeganBy the Book
A Visit to the Sisters’ House and MeetinghouseA Visit to the Printing Office
Explore life in this unique community.Discover the process used to create the largest book printed in early America.
Good HumorsLessons from History
A Visit to the Physician’s HouseGoing to School from 1740 to 1840
Medicine in early Ephrata was a learning process, even for the doctors.Schools looked differently in the past before the invention of computers.

Homeschool Days

Fridays, April 16 & May 14
9:00 — 1:30
All four of the Obed’s Classroom lessons described above will be offered on these days.
Where Ephrata BeganBy the Book
Good HumorsLessons from the Past

All four lessons are available for homeschools on these days for the single cost of $15.00 per computer link. Students must be able to print the related worksheets for each class.

PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED no later than 2 days prior to the program. Contact the Museum Educator, Michael Showalter, at for full details. Tickets can be purchased here: April 16 and May 14.

Ephrata Cloister

Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission:
Tom Wolf, Governor – Nancy Moses, Chair – Andrea Lowery, Executive Director

Ephrata Cloister is one of 26 historic sites and museums on the Pennsylvania Trail of History. For more information or to request a free 24-page visitor guide, visit or phone toll free 1-866-PATRAIL.

The Ephrata Cloister Associates is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, supporting the mission of preservation and education at this National Historic Landmark.