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Farm Family in Kansas - Trunk Manual

The information in this trunk deals with the work of the Kansas farm family from the 1870s through the turn of the twentieth century. Comparisons are meant to be made with the work of a child’s own family, teaching perhaps some surprising similarities in the roles of the various family members and their interrelations over a hundred year span. Children will also be introduced to equipment used to accomplish work on the farm before the time of electricity, the automobile, the telephone, and commercial food processing.

The activities in this trunk are directed at lower elementary age students. Information is organized by the duties various family members usually assumed. The influence of the environment on the lives of early Kansas settlers can be found in the sections dealing with the work of children, women and men.  Worksheets, photographs, and other materials needed to teach the lessons are not included in this online version of the manual.

What is Work?

Explore the idea of work and jobs.


The Work of Farm Children

Chores such as herding, hauling fuel, milking, and churning are explored through letters written by Kansas children, objects such as butter paddles and a cattle leader, historic photographs, and a power point presentation on churning butter.

Churning Butter PDF | PowerPoint


More items from Farm Family trunkThe Work of Kansas Farm Women

An apple peeler, washboard, sad iron, photos and much more help teach about cooking, laundry, cleaning and quilting in early Kansas. Letters speak of living conditions, prairie fires, malaria, the beauty of Kansas and the happiness found living here.


The Work of Kansas Farm Men

Diary entries; reminiscences; photographs; a power point presentation and objects such as a corn planter, husking peg, and hog scraper help explore topics that include growing crops; butchering; and the impact of blizzards, prairie fires, and grasshoppers.

Corn Picking Long Ago PDF | PowerPoint


Fun on the Farm

Learn that life was not all work on the farm. School, holidays, and husking bees are some of the highlights.


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