Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Nebraska Time Traveler
question and activity cards

Answers, grades 9-12

First Nebraskans

a. Find the beaver pelt and look in the drawers below. Name three objects that trade introduced to Native American cultures. Answers may include: cloth, beads, metal cookware, metal weapons, scissors.
How do you think the trade materials influenced Native American culture? Student ideas.
Choose three words to describe . . . how Europeans might have felt about trade. (ex. glad for furs)
. . . how Plains Indians might have felt about trade. Student ideas.

b. Find the object that tells the story of an international conflict that took place in the geographic region that we know as Nebraska. What is the object? The Villasur expedition painting.
What is the story? Colonel Pedro de Villasur led Spanish soldiers on an expedition to the area near present-day Columbus, Nebraska, because the Spanish feared a French invasion of the Plains. The Spanish were attacked and defeated by the Pawnees and Otos, allies of the French.
How is this object different from the ones you have seen in this exhibit so far? Answers may include: the object provides a visual story of an event; all objects on display prior to this one were functional in relatively practical ways and the painting tells about an event in history for which no objects/artifacts survive. The hide painting is a reproduction.

c. Go to the Tribal Histories room. Choose a tribe. What did you learn about the tribe from the objects on display? Student ideas.

d. Go to the Clothing section. Think about your clothes and accessories. What do your clothes tell about the culture in which you live? (Think about materials, styles, and decorations.) Student ideas.
Name two articles of clothing or accessories that demonstrate contact between the Plains Indians and Europeans. Answers may include: necktie; man's cotton, tailored shirt, vest, and pants; German silver bracelet; Sioux dress with a gathered waist.
What features of these clothes or accessories indicate the Plains Indians were changing some of their culture? They incorporated trade items and European clothing styles: gathered waists, neckties, and images of American flags.
What features indicate they were keeping some of their culture? They still decorated with traditional materials such as porcupine quills, shells, traditional beadwork, and images of Native Americans on horseback.

e. Go to the earthlodge and listen to the audio stories. Think about your house. Which rooms of your house would serve the same functions as the earthlodge? Student ideas.
What advantages do you think the Pawnees found in having a one-story, circular, one-room dwelling rather than a two-story, rectangular dwelling with many rooms? Student ideas.

f. Find the photo near the earthlodge of an earthlodge village at Genoa, 1871. How was an earthlodge village arranged? Draw or describe. Student observations.
Find the map of Todd County, South Dakota with the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. How did this system of living compare to an earthlodge village? Observations may include: the reservation was developed with a system of squares and grids compared to the earthlodge village's system of circles. Land ownership with legal boundaries was not a part of Native American culture.
Choose one word to describe how you would feel about reservations in the late 1800s and early 1900s if
. . . you were a Winnebago Indian forced to move to one. Student ideas.
. . . you were a European or European-American settler living near one. Student ideas.

g. Go to the Winnebago living room. Each of the objects tells a story about the cultural transition taking place on reservations. Which object do you think represents the largest adjustment? Why? Student ideas.
Which of these objects represents the best opportunity for the Winnebago to keep some of their culture? Why? Student ideas.

Nebraska Joins the Union

a. Find the document signed by William Clark. What was Clark's title in 1815? Governor of the Missouri territory, commander-in-chief of the Missouri territory's militia, and superintendent of Indian affairs.
What object was carried by Lewis and Clark? A medal with Thomas Jefferson's portrait used as gifts to Native American leaders.
How do you think Lewis and Clark might have felt as they met Plains Indians and gave this object away? Student ideas.
How do you think the Native Americans felt when they were given this object? Student ideas.

b. Find the brochures advertising gold in Nebraska. What information did these brochures promise? Guide to the regions, table of distances, and an accurate map.
How has the geographic area of Nebraska changed since then? (Hint: Find the Nebraska territorial map.) Answers may include: the territory once included the land that is now North and South Dakota.

c. Find the Civil War section. Nebraskans fought on two fronts during the Civil War. Describe these two fronts. (Hint: Read about the bugle and the spurs.) The South - fighting against the Confederate Army. The West - protecting settlers from Native Americans.

d. Find the Bringing the East West section. Choose three of the objects on display. What do the three objects tell you about expectations and experiences of Easterners moving to Nebraska? Student ideas.
Look at the copy of the census page. From where were people emigrating to Nebraska? Student observations.

e. Go to the Town Builders section. Describe or draw three objects used by town builders to organize their towns. Answers may include: bank notes for commerce; compass, map, and survey marker for surveying; and desk for government.
Who used each object?
__________________     ____________________     __________________
How was each object used?
__________________     ____________________     __________________

__________________     ____________________     __________________

f. Find the state seal. In your opinion, what was the purpose of the state seal? Student ideas.
What does the seal tell us about the European-American experience and hopes at that time? Answers may include: progress in transportation, manufacturing, and agriculture.
At the time of statehood, the U.S. government was promoting the settlement by whites of lands claimed by Native American tribes. Following years of conflict, Native Americans were forced on to reservations. Why do you think this story of Nebraska history was not included in the state seal? Student ideas.

g. Go around the corner to the sod house. Sod houses and earthlodges would have existed in Nebraska at the same time. How are they similar? Answers may include: both are made of earth, both have beds, for both a single room is the entire house.
How are sod houses and earthlodges different? Answers may include: the sod house is rectangular, plastered inside, has windows, and more furniture than the earthlodge. The earthlodge is circular, has walls of grasses, and an open fire. The earthlodge uses a wood frame for support, the sod house uses sod for support and sometimes has assistance from forked poles holding the ridge poles.

World War II

a. Sit on the 1940s living room couch and listen to the radio announcement. What is the announcement? Pearl Harbor has been attacked.
Describe a time when you can remember an important news event being announced. What was the announcement? Answers will vary.
Why do you think the memory of that announcement stays with you? Student ideas.

b. A heartbreaking impact of the war effort was saying goodbye to loved ones going to war. What was the jewelry called that was often the only ties to a person's true love? Forget-me-not.
Describe or sketch one of these. Student observations.
How do you think mothers or fathers felt about raising families by themselves when their spouse went to war knowing they may not return? Student ideas.

c. As you walk through the exhibit, "collect" two examples of war propaganda (posters, cartoons, comic strips, awards, other). Describe the propaganda messages and images.
Ex. United We Win poster
Message: cooperation and hard work will win the war
Image: photograph of two male workers, black and white

1) Student observations and ideas.
2) Student observations and ideas.
What is the overall message of the war propaganda? Student ideas.

d. Why was Hastings chosen as the naval ammunition depot in 1942? Hastings was chosen because of its geographic location: equidistant between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
What was the role of the Hastings ammunition depot in the war? It manufactured and stored bombs, mines, rockets, and shells and supplied forty percent of all ammunitions for the U.S. Navy.
For the citizens of Hastings, what challenges came with the depot?
Student ideas may include: creating and building adequate housing and schools; providing adequate city and health services; giving up farmland on which to build the depot; living and working with minority workers such as African Americans and Native Americans.
What opportunities? Student ideas may include: jobs, new neighbors and co-workers.

e. If you had been a teenager during World War II, would the war efforts described below have effected you? Visit the following displays and comment on whether or not your life would have been effected and if so, how.
Civil defense - Student ideas.
Making it do or doing without - Student ideas.

f. Go to the Military Service section. How many men and women did Nebraska send to war? 139,754
Find the object used in selective service draft held at Washington, D.C. in 1940. What is it called? capsule
How would you have felt if your name was one of the 123 Nebraskans selected for service in the national lottery? Student ideas.

g. Find displays on the following Nebraskans in the military section. In the boxes, sketch or describe an object associated with each Nebraskan. Below each box, describe what this Nebraskan did in the war.

Butler B. Miltonberger's

Jeanette Meyer Davis's

Walter "Red" Harris's
Object may be any of the following . . .
walking stick, U.S. Army infantry officer's dress cap, key to the city of Nancy, France, French Croix de Guerre, medals and badges earned by Miltonberger

 off-duty dress
Object may be any of the following . . .
uniform, purple heart and air medals, flight log book, lucky dice, billfold, cigarette case
Butler B. Miltonberger was Colonel of Nebraska's National Guard (134th Infantry Regiment) that fought in Europe. Jeanette Meyer Davis was a member of the Army Nurse Corps and served in the 187th General Hospital in England Walter Harris was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He was a fighter pilot in the Black Sheep Squadron. Red's plane was shot down over the South Pacific and he was listed as Missing in Action.


NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Top
Last updated 8 March 2000 

For questions or comments on the website itself, email
Nebraska State Historical Society - P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68501
Nebraska State Government Homepage
 |  Website Policies  |  © 2009 All Rights Reserved