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Lesson Plans

The artifacts, maps, postcards, original paintings, and photographs available from the Western Trails Project provide a rich source of primary documents from Nebraska history. The following lesson plans have been designed for specific collections but may be adapted and amended as needed. The Nebraska Social Studies Standards and Information Literacy Standards are included with each lesson.

Driving Down the Highway
Driving Down the Highway: Billboards in Nebraska   (Grade: 9-12)

Students will design a billboard promoting and advertising a city in Nebraska, using as example the photographs of early billboards in the David H. Traill Lincoln Highway Photograph Album, provided by the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer.

women in buggy
Getting Around - Transportation Photographs (Grade: 5-8)

Students will view and analyze transportation photographs, provided by the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, and write a story based on one of the photos.

Chimney Rock
The Many Faces of Chimney Rock (Grade: 5-8)

Students will compare and contrast images of Chimney Rock, provided by Nebraska State Historical Society.

On the Trail - Overland Migration Artifacts (Grade: 5-8)

Students will create journals using the Overland Migration Artifact Collection, provided by Nebraska State Historical Society. These artifacts are displayed at the Chimney Rock National Historic Site outside Bayard, Nebraska.

Traveling Around Nebraska (Grade:9-12)

Using black and white photographs from the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer collection, students will analyze a variety of types of transportation.

Paine Travel Journals

What Personal Journals Tell Us: "Reese Remembrances" and "Paine Travel Journals" (Grade: 5-8)

Students will learn how to use journals as sources of historical information by reading and analyzing entries from journals, provided by the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer.

Educator Resources:


Western Trails
Wyoming - Nebraska - Kansas - Colorado
Western Trails
Supported in part by funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.

For more information, contact Devra Dragos.