Social Studies Lessons

Social Studies Lessons

The following are lessons from the museum social studies kits that do not require the artifacts and replicas within the kit.  All lessons meet the 2020 Colorado State Academic Standards. For more information regarding kits, visit this page.

The Original Coloradans provides students with an understanding of the peoples that inhabited the Western Slope before the arrival of the Utes.  Designed for grades 3-4, but can be used with older students.

The Original Coloradans: Teacher Background Information

This is a reference guide for teachers that describes the cultures discussed in the kit.

Paleo-Indian Period

Archaic Period

Formative Stage


Lesson 1: Trash Can Archaeology

Lesson 2: Migration into North America

Lesson 3: Projectile Points, requires materials found in the kit

Lesson 4: Rock Art

Lesson 5: Stone Tools, requires materials found in the kit

Lesson 6: Pottery, requires materials found in the kit

Clues from the Landscape allows students the opportunity to study historical photographs and maps of western Colorado in order to assess the challenges of homesteading.  Designed for grades 2-4, but can be used with older students.

Clues from the Landscape: Teacher Background Information  This is a reference guide for teachers, describing the frontier and early settlers to the Grand Valley after the expulsion of the Utes.

Lesson 1: Becoming a Homesteader

Lesson 2: Discovering Public Lands as Living Museums Map Analysis

Lesson 3: Discovering our Past through Artifacts, requires materials found in the kit.

Lesson 4: Investigating our Past through Photographs

Mountain Men was compiled as part of a PBL at Grand Junction High School in 2018. Some of the lessons herein were developed and tested by GJHS students with the help of 4th grade classes at Pomona Elementary. It would not have been possible without the partnership between the MWC and D-51 schools.  For the purpose of this educational kit, some lessons have been adapted from other existing museum kits including the History Colorado Mountain Man Kit and the Wyoming State Museum Mountain Man Discovery Trunk. This kit is to be used as an educational tool and is strictly non-profit in order to adhere to educational fair use policy.

Lesson 1: Are you on the Right Track?


Lesson 2: Lupton’s Letter

Lesson 3: States of the Union

Lesson 4: To Trap or Not to Trap?

Lesson 5: The Price is Right!

Lesson 6: States of the Union requires materials in the kit

Lesson 7: Tales of Jim Beckwourth