Second Graders Experience the Life of a Whaler Named Paul Cuffee

Paul Cuffee second graders at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Paul Cuffee School second graders, as a part of their study of Paul Cuffee the man, visited the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Because Paul Cuffee was a famous whaler, the class visits the Museum, which has an extensive collection of materials about both Paul Cuffee and 19th century whaling techniques. In addition, the New Bedford Whaling Museum has a park named after Paul Cuffee, which sits 100 yards away from a store that Paul Cuffee ran in the 19th century.

While there, the students visited Paul Cuffee’s kitchen, a permanent exhibition at the museum; explored the focs’le, the sleeping quarters of the sailors; lowered an anchor on a ship, examined 19th century whaling harpoons; and saw a view of 19th century New Bedford, imagining what Paul Cuffee himself might have seen.

In addition, Mr. Pike’s class illustrated a book two years ago that was read at the dedication of the Park and is now on display and for sale at the Museum. Ms. Rich noted, “I enjoy this trip every year, because it allows the students to imagine life during Paul Cuffee’s time and teaches them how to conduct themselves at museums. They did, as they always do, a wonderful job of listening, learning, and representing our School.”


Average Class Size: 20
Current Enrollment: 820
Students of Color: 96%
Female Students: 51%
Male Students: 49%
Free/Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility: 82%
Multi-Language Learners: 19%
Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13%
Total Employees: 168
BIPOC: 45%
Female Employees: 75%
Male Employees: 25%