Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska Time Traveler
question and activity cards

Answers, grades 3-4

First Nebraskans

a. Find the Early Potters display. What objects do you see? Student observations.
Look at the drawing of the Early Potters' village. What does the drawing and the objects tell you about their community? Answers may include they hunted with bows and arrows, they lived in skin lodges, they wore necklaces, they sewed.

b. What food do Nebraskans grow today that Native American people were growing 1,000 years before Nebraska became a state?
Find these objects used by the Prehistoric Farmers and connect them with their use.

What is it called?                        What was it used for?

sketch of stone-bone knife ------------- to cut
sketch of awl --------------------------- to sew

sketch of bone bracelet ---------- to wear on your body

What similar objects do we use today? Answers will vary.

c. Find the painting of the attack on the Villasur Expedition, 1720. This attack took place near present-day Columbus, Nebraska. Explorers from France are wearing the three-cornered hats. Explorers from Spain are wearing the rounded hats. Why were Villasur and the Spanish on the expedition? The Spanish were afraid the French were going to take over the Plains.

d. Find your favorite object in the Tribal History room. What is it? Answers will vary.
Describe it. Answers will vary.
How was it used? Answers will vary.
What object do we use today that would serve a similar purpose in our culture? Answers will vary.

e. Go to the Clothing section. What accessory or article of clothing would you most like to wear? Answers will vary.
What is it made of? Answers will vary.
On what occasions do you think it was worn? Answers will vary.

f. Which objects in the earthlodge would have been made by the Pawnee Indians? Parfleches (rectangular containers), cradle board for baby, beds, basket.
Which objects would have been obtained through trade? Metal objects such as scissors, hoe, axe, and guns, wool blanket, suitcase, cloth shirt.
What did the Plains Indians use instead of these trade objects before there was trade? (Hint: think about the objects in the prehistoric section) Animal skins for blankets and clothing (bison hides), ceramic pots, bison bones made into hoe, stone axes.

Challenge: (Sketch of letter) Find the hand-written letter with a drawing of a tipi and a log house. Why did this family live in two separate dwellings (homes)? In good weather, the grandmother liked to live in the tipi because it was what she was used to. The girl liked to live in the house.


Nebraska Joins the Union

a. Find the two sketches of fur traders on the Missouri river. Describe how the keelboats were powered. Oars, long poles, square sail, tow rope. Name two fur trade objects that might have been transported on a keelboat. Guns, beads.

b. What are these objects called? (Sketches of hat and pitcher) Shako hat, pitcher.
At what Nebraska fort did soldiers use these objects? Fort Atkinson.
What was the purpose of the fort? To protect the fur trade from the British.

c. Find the spurs used by a man delivering mail in eastern Nebraska. Find the envelope carried by a Pony Express rider. Who is the letter addressed to? William Garwood
In the 1860s, people communicated by letter delivered by the Pony Express, stage coaches, freight wagons, and steamboats. How many different ways do we communicate with each other today? Telephone, letters, e-mail, fax.

d. Find the boots made by an African American. Describe the boots.
Look at the photo near the boots. In what Nebraska town are these African Americans working? Brownville.

e. Find the coin in the Civil War section that says "Army & Navy." What are these coins called?
Tokens What were they used for? During the Civil War, they were used as a substitute for money.
At what sutler's store (a store for soldiers) could the twenty-five cent token be used?
P. Hoddy and Company.

f. Go to the area with objects that settlers brought from the East. Find objects used for the following purposes:
making light candlemold
marking livestock branding iron
getting married wedding dress or wedding certificate

Challenge: Find this object (sketch of bank note). How is this object similar in use to this one (sketch of beaver pelt) seen in the First Nebraskans exhibit? Both allowed you to obtain items you might need. How is it different? Bank notes were human made, furs were a natural resource. Furs were used for trade, bank notes for buying and selling.

g. Go around the corner to the sod house. How would living in the sod house be similar to living in your house? Answers will vary.
How is living in a sod house different? Answers will vary.



a) Find the head ornament Standing Bear gave as a thank you gift to his attorney. Look at it closely: what materials were used to make it? The head ornament is made of hair, a metal piece, and a feather.
What did the judge decide at Standing Bear's trial? The judge decided that Indians were people and Standing Bear could live wherever he wanted.

b) What did African-American settlers do to help build Nebraska? Answers will vary. Ex. Sod house, so their family could live in Nebraska. Choose one photo or artifact to answer this question: What did African-American settlers build or create? Why do you think they built or created what you see? Quilt, so their family could have a special keepsake. Painting, so they could express themselves or try new things.
What objects did people use to prepare and cook food in the sod house? Depends on what a student recognizes, but answers may include: Stove, butter churn, butter mold, mortar and pestle, food chopper, scoop, ladle, copper kettle, bowl, butter paddle, wooden bucket, rolling pin, potato masher, crock.
What do you think it was like to make meals in a soddie in the 1880s? Student opinions on what cooking might have been like.

Find the campaign banner used in support of William Jennings Bryan, what animals is in the center? A bison. Why do you think they might have chosen this animal? Student opinions. Read the banner to answer this question: What type of person did Bryan's followers want to nominate? An honest man.

Walk to the general store. Along the way you can crank the coffee grinder, iron a skirt, or write on a slate. Hands-on activity for kids.

Walk inside the general store. Look at the historic photo near the entrance. How would shopping here be similar to shopping today? Answers will vary. How would shopping her be different? Student might notice counters limit customer access to goods and some goods (like the coffee, cheese, and ribbons) need to be packaged, so you would have to ask for more help. There weren't as many choices as today.

g) Find the gas pump. Choose an artifact in this area. How did it help people? How did it work? Answers will vary. How has the technology changed over time? Answers will vary.

h) Find the objects used by women to prepare their eggs and butter for sale and choose one. How did it help women? Answers will vary, but most artifacts in this section were used for either preparing or storing butter or other milk products.
What do women do to make money today? Answers will vary.

What Did You Do in the War: Nebraskans in World War II

a. Sit on the living room couch and listen carefully to the news announcement. What did the announcement say? Pearl Harbor has been attacked by air.
How did you feel in this old living room listening to the announcement? Student feelings.

b. Go to the front porch. Service flags like the one in the window informed the community of family members serving in the war. What do the gold stars represent? Sons and daughters killed in World War II. What do the blue stars represent? Sons and daughters in active service. How do you think people felt when they saw one of these flags in a window? Student feelings.

c. Find the poster with pigs on it. The slogan for this poster is "The small farmer has a big job to do. More pork for victory."
Who did Nebraska's farmers and ranchers feed with their crops and animals? U.S. and Allied soldiers.

d. At what Nebraska aircraft assembly plant in Nebraska was the Enola Gay produced? Martin Bomber Plant. How did Lovern Blacksher help to construct the Enola Gay? He welded the rack for the Atomic Bomb.

e. Find the Get in the Scrap display. Look at the photos with kids collecting items for the war effort. What did the kids collect? Student observations.
How is the scrap effort similar to when we recycle? We are collecting objects made of certain materials so the materials can be used again. We collect some of the same materials: paper and light metal (aluminum).
How is it different? They collected for the war effort, we collect for the environment. We collect some different materials than they did. We collect plastic, they collected mostly metals.

f. Find the Little Orphan Annie comic strip in the Children's display. What did the Junior Commandos say when asked if they were doing enough already? We can't do enough until the war is won. What were the Junior Commandos doing in the photo next to the comic strip? Collecting scrap metal.

g. Look at the Tools of War case in the Military Service section. Find the tools to accomplish the following jobs:
eat supper field ration supper unit
protect your head helmet
repair clothing sewing kit
dig a hole shovel


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Last updated 8 March 2000 

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