Guided tour — Kansas Museum of History, Topeka
Grades — 4th
During the mid-1800s, thousands of families traveled through Kansas in covered wagons. Most were heading west in search of land, gold, or a more healthful climate in which to settle. This tour invites students to learn about the history of westward expansion, focusing on experiences from the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails. The tour visits the Trails portion of the gallery, where students see the full-size covered wagon, the prairie diorama, and exhibits about the items families used on the Oregon Trail and the goods transported on the Santa Fe Trail. In the hands-on museum classroom, students see reproductions of items used and carried on the trails and try on clothes that would have been worn by 19th century travelers.
Kansas standards addressed but not necessarily fulfilled:
Grade 4, History: Benchmark 1, Indicator 5: The student compares and contrasts the purposes of the Santa Fe and Oregon-California Trails (e.g., commercial vs. migration).
Grade 4, History: Benchmark 1, Indicator 6: The student describes life on the Santa Fe and Oregon-California Trails (e.g. interactions between different cultural groups, hardships such as lack of water, mountains and rivers to cross, weather, need for medical care, size of wagon).
Cost per student including museum admission: $3.00.
One adult enters free for every 10 students. Additional adults pay the student rate.
Length of tour: approximately one hour.
Number of students in a group: for the best experience, we recommend no more than 20 students per tour. For large groups, a maximum of 40 students can be accommodated on the tour during any given hour.