Between Fences

Teachers and Educators!

We live between fences. We may hardly notice them, but they are dominant features in our lives and in our history. Thousands of types have been invented, millions of miles have been produced, and countless rivals have seized post, rail, panel, and wire to stake their claims. The United States as we know it could not have been settled and built without fences; they continue to be an integral part of the nation. Fences stand for security: we use them to enclose our houses and neighborhoods. They are decorative structures that are as much part of the landscape as trees and flowers. Industry and agriculture without fences would be difficult to imagine. Private ownership of land would be an abstract concept. But fences are more than functional objects. They are powerful symbols. The way we define ourselves as individuals and as a nation becomes concrete in how we build fences.

Reading Lists

Want to know more about the history of fences in America? Check out this complete listing of books and other materials for adults, children, and everyone in between!

Lesson Plans
Get the scoop on all the ways you can teach American history with these specific lessons, extracted from the teacher's guide, and created especially for this Museum on Main Street exhibition.

Teacher's Guide
Created especially for the Between Fences exhibition, the full teacher's guide, along with National Teacher Standards, goes in depth to explore this little-known topic in American History. »   Full Teacher's Guide

Scavenger Hunt
Take this cool scavenger hunt with you to the exhibition, or get ideas about turning objects and history into search and find adventures. »  Scavenger Hunt