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History Trunks

The Animas Museum has developed a set of history trunks that may be checked out by local educators to enhance the teaching experience. Trunks may be checked out for two weeks at a time. There is no charge for Durango 9R schools and a $5 charge for others. (Late fees are $2 per day for all.) Click on the links below to sign up.

Ancestral Puebloans I

This trunk focuses on explaining the life of Ancestral Puebloans for 3rd & 4th grade students to meet their Colorado History Standards. It includes real Ancestral Pueblo pottery sherds, as well as elementary level books and worksheets from Crow Canyon and History Colorado. It also includes Puebloan vocabulary sheets and a modern Puebloan pot replicas that help relate students to the modern Pueblo people.

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Ancestral Puebloans II

This trunk focuses on explaining the life of Ancestral Puebloans for 8th grade through high school students, but can be used for 4th grade if the Ancestral Puebloan I trunk is already checked out. This box follows worksheets and activities provided by History Colorado. This trunk includes more Ancestral Puebloan artifacts like pottery sherds and faunal (animal) bones. It also includes Puebloan vocabulary sheets and a modern Puebloan pot that helps relate students to the modern Pueblo people.

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Utes & Navajos

This trunk focuses on explaining the life of the Ute and Navajo Tribes for 3rd & 4th grade students to meet their Colorado History Standards. This trunk goes over the history and culture of the Ute and Navajo tribes. Included are real artifacts from the modern Ute and Navajo tribes, such as a dye chart and wedding basket. This trunk also includes several books of various elementary levels for students to enjoy.

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Civil War

This trunk goes over the Civil War and how Civil War veterans helped shape La Plata County. It is best suited for 8th grade and high school students. It is full of Civil War artifacts, both real and replica. As a disclaimer, this trunk does contain a replica Battle Flag of Northern Virginia (Confederate Flag), that you do not have to use in your lesson plan. But, we have included Civil War flag worksheets that could better help teach the history of this flag and other Civil War issues.

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Pack Your Wagon

This trunk is an interactive activity for 2nd to 4th grade students. Think of this trunk as the first part of the Oregon Trail game. Students must decide which type of wagon to buy, what work animals to use, food to bring, and other items they want to take with to their new life on the frontier. This trunk includes historical background information to share with students, as well as instructions for the activity.

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Build a Town

This trunk is an interactive activity for 2nd to 4th grade students. This trunk includes a blank map of the Animas Valley, as it may have looked before the creation of Animas City and Durango. Students must decide where to build their town. The trunk includes the necessary tools to outline the streets and bridges of the new town, as well as some of the early buildings of Durango that must be placed around town.

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Butter Churning

This is an interactive activity for any age group that would benefit from a hands on activity and snack. Included is the history of butter churning with various instruments, glass jars and marbles used to make the butter from cream, and instruction sheets. Teachers must provide the perishable ingredients and wash the materials before returning them to the Animas Museum. This trunk goes well with the Pack Your Wagon trunk and Pioneers and Ranching trunk.

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Mining & Railroads

This trunk focuses on explaining the lives of miners and railroad workers in the early settlement days. If is perfect for 3rd & 4th grade students to meet their Colorado History Standards. Included are real and replica artifacts relating to mining and railroad history in the area. As these two subjects are historically intertwined, they come in one history trunk.

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Pioneers & Ranching

This trunk focuses on explaining the lives of early pioneers as they settled in the west. It is perfect for 3rd & 4th grade students to meet their Colorado History Standards. The trunk is divided into three sections: ranching, domestic life, and children on the frontier. There are real and replica artifacts included to help students connect to each of these three sections.

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World War I

This box is intended to help high school U.S. History teachers expand their lesson plans for World War I. This often overlooked war played a huge part in the outbreak of WWII and some of the issues we still see in American today. As the Animas Museum did a whole year of WWI events and exhibits, this trunk is packed to the brim with mostly real WWI artifacts, as well as a poster series created by the Smithsonian Institution.

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Primary Sources

The Animas Museum helps judge the regional History Day event at Fort Lewis College every year. After over a decade of overseeing this event, we decided to create a trunk to help teachers and students decipher primary and secondary sources, as well as how to read and understand different types of primary sources. Much of this trunk leans on documents provided by the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the Smithsonian Institution. This is perfect to help quiz your students and give them hands on knowledge of different primary sources. You do not have to be participating in History Day to check out this trunk.

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World War I Primary Sources

This trunk is a mash-up of the WWI and Primary Source boxes. This box attempts to help teachers and students decipher primary and secondary sources, as well as how to read and understand different types of primary sources with the help of WWI artifacts. Much of this trunk leans on documents provided by the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the Smithsonian Institution. This is perfect to help quiz your students and give them hands on knowledge of different primary sources. As the topics and photos are based on WWI events, this box may be best for high school classes and mature middle school classes. You do not have to be participating in History Day to check out this trunk.

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