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Civil War Trust

Teacher Reviews

Fun with the Traveling Trunk

Trunk outdoors.

What do teachers say about the trunk?

Mandy Wright, Gilbert Classical Academy

The students LOVED the items. They enjoyed getting to see and touch. It really helped them get a sense for the history of the time.  The large, poster size photos were especially poignant.

Patricia Smith, South Valley Junior High School

[My students] loved it!  One of my students shrieked with delight when he saw all the stuff for the scavenger hunt. :)

Rachel Kelly, Ricks Center School

It is one thing for the students to hear and read about life during the Civil War—but these artifacts truly enhanced their understanding of the times.

How have teachers used the trunk?

Dee Perkins, Clearwater Christian Homeschool

Student dresses up using the trunk.
Courtesy Jill Rust, Lincoln, KS

My students really enjoyed the trunk.  We set up a "History Zone" Museum and allowed the students to come and experience the museum.  Some came in groups of 3, took pictures in the uniforms, and then went through the museum asking about items as they went.  Other classes came as a whole and I answered questions (as curator) as they went.  I brought my class in for a "docent" led tour and allowed them to choose an object to observe/read about and create a caption card for in order to introduce the artifact to younger "museum" visitors.  Our museum gave us the chance to be pretend historians...thinking as historians and curators do.  It gave younger children hands on experience with Civil War life and spurred lots of great questions where they connected previous learning with new information. 

Dawn L. Johnson, Kasson-Mantorville Middle School

The trunk was a great learning tool.  The students were able to make history come alive for themselves. They especially liked the clothing and equipment. The posters were so informative, students were enthralled by the thought that they may have actually had the chance to be a soldier.  I had each one enlist as either a Yankee or a Reb, for some it was a tough choice.

Kerri Kent, New Life Academy

We had just started our study of the Civil War when the trunk arrived, so I was able to use it as an anticipatory set / Civil War discovery guide.  I had the students investigate the items with a partner and try to figure out what the items were and why they were important to the war.  I got tons of positive feedback from my students - "That was so much fun!" "That was awesome!" "I loved being able to look at all that stuff!" After our discovery time, we were able to discuss the items and talk about their purposes.

Eric Froese, Annunciation School

I used items in conjunction with the in4 videos on the trust site.  I used the trunk to teach the human side of the war, homefront, soldiers life, artillery, cavalry, technology.  I taught the tactical part of the war the previous week, and used items as a review...and to bring the human side to the war.

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