Traveling Trunks are a way to bring fun historic material into the classroom. Each trunk is developed to optimize learning for students and minimize time teachers spend developing programs for their classrooms. The traveling trunks are developed in large part with financial contributions from the Des Plaines Kiwanis Club. Please contact DPHC staff to reserve a traveling trunk.

Current trunks include:

  • "Frontier Days" Household objects common in the mid-nineteenth century can help learners in K-2 realize the differences between life during years of settlement in this area versus life now.
  • "A Des Plaines Factory" This trunk is geared toward the 5th grade as they are introduced to World War II, but may also be good for advanced 4th graders. It covers a Des Plaines enameling and electical appliance manufacturer as its workforce changed due to technology, the war effort, and evolving gender norms. It includes objects, photographs, and newsletter articles from the factory as well as structured lesson ideas.
  • COMING SOON : "City of Roses" This trunk will explore the history, economics, and science of growing flowers in Des Plaines. We are working to gear this toward a 1-3 grade range. It will include historic information, photographs, equipment for a simple greenhouse science experiment, and a seed planting project.

Philip Mohr and Carmina Gonzalez grabbed their "Frontier Days Traveling Trunk" recently and visited Siri Nelson's kindergarten class at Iroquois Community School. The students learned about what it was like for people to settle in this area 150 years ago. Contact the History Center if you would like our crew to visit your school!