• bible sitting next to a teapot

    Whitman Mission

    National Historic Site Washington

Traveling Trunks

The education trunks may be combined with an educator’s workshop. They may also be able to be shipped to the education site. A national park ranger may be able to deliver the education trunk and present the information depending on time and availability. Inquire by calling Mike Dedman, Education Specialist Whitman Mission National Historic Site at 509-522-6360 x2062 or e-mail.

Interdisciplinary educator workshops combine instruction, activities, field sessions, and curriculum development.

Washington State clock hours are available. For more information contact the Education Specialist, Mike Dedman, at 509-522-6360 x2062 or by e-mail.

Workshops will occur at Whitman Mission National Historic Site unless facilities can be arranged at a school or other site. We must have at least 10 registered teachers to hold a workshop. All workshops are free and offer Washington state clock hours and academic credits as an option for some workshops at an additional cost.

The workshops are designed to teach participants in how to integrate their material contents into classroom use. The workshops are flexible for grade level use.

The workshops offered include:

a. Whitman Mission National Historic Site – educator workshop and field trip


Whitman Mission National Historic Site offers field trip opportunities with National Park Service ranger talks and demonstrations. The demonstrations include Wool Spinning, Oregon Trail, and the Cayuse Culture. There is a ten-minute video slide program and two walking trails. Please call for a field trip reservation.

b. Whitman Mission National Historic Site – educator workshop and educator trunk


Whitman Mission National Historic Site offers an educator trunk with a curriculum guide, primary sources including the journals of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman of the mission at Waiilatpu, Henry Spalding of the Lapwai mission and Reverend Greene of the American Board of Foreign Missions. A study guide with the book Stout Hearted Seven accompanies the trunk along with literature and an artifact study component. Videos include Whitman Mission Saga and the Oregon Trail.

c. Project WILD Salmon Education Trunk – educator workshop and educator trunk (http://wdfw.wa.gov/outreach/education/salmontrunk.htm)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Project WILD Salmon Education Trunk of educational activities are available to educators. Lesson themes include Salmon are an Essential Part of Our Habitat, Salmon are in Danger, and We Can All Participate in Salmon Recovery. The program offers support for aquarium projects raising salmon.

d. Stream Monitoring – educator workshop and educator trunk


Students can provide data to the Department of Fish and Wildlife by monitoring streams using a stream monitoring kit. Data can be reported about Habitat Description, Site Conditions, Restoration Efforts, Water Quality Monitoring, and Advanced Water Quality Parameters.

e. Leopold Education Project – educator workshop and educator trunk


The essays of Aldo Leopold's, A Sand County Almanac are used in observing, journaling, and sketching inquiry based teaching methods. As an educator Leopold felt, "The main objective is to teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands". There are hands on activities related to the literature component of the program.

f. Leave No Trace Program – educator workshop and educator trunk


The Leave No Trace program is a nationally recognized resource awareness program.

Seven principles are taught that emphasize care for our natural environment. Lessons are adapted for a hands-on discovery of recognizing the important elements of minimizing our impact on the land. The principles can be integrated into literature, science and writing activities.

g. Project Archaeology – educator workshop and educator trunk (http://www.blm.gov/heritage/project_archaeology.htm)

This curriculum program was developed in response to the destruction of irreplaceable

American archaeological resources. Intrigue of the Past, a curriculum guide, includes lessons and information on local or regional archaeology and history, corresponding lessons, and a resource directory. This includes materials ideas for activity stations.

h. Wildfire; Burning Issues – educator workshop and educator trunk

The program includes active involvement in handling wildfire issues with hands on lesson activities. Materials cover a wide variety of interrelationships between people and their environment. Fire and the way it acts within ecosystems as a positive provider for change is covered.

i. Operation Outreach – educator workshop and educator trunk


The program includes pre-school through eighth grade reading materials for students. Six books are available per title. Lesson plans are included and develop compassion and sensitivity toward animals. This has been shown to be reflected in the student’s personal behavior in positive ways.

j. National History Day – educator workshop and educator trunk


Whitman Mission National Historic Site has many primary resources available for students interested in the National History Day competition. Starting at the local level we can offer help and support to welcome a student partnership in investigating history with an entered project. A history web site offers further tips.

k. Pioneer and Indian Toys – educator trunk

Many selections of Pioneer and Indian toys are available for students to manipulate and play with. Additional literature selections on morals and manners of the 1800’s provide the context. A study of each toy and its development is completed adding to an understanding of historical time periods. Pioneer and Indian toys and games include the Hand Game, Stick Game, Graces, Cup and Ball and many other traditional practices. How the Pioneer and Indian games affected communications between cultures is demonstrated.

l. Wool at Waiilatpu – educator trunk

A set of materials is available for students to understand the history of the importance of sheep wool at the mission at Waiilatpu. The set comes with wool samples, wool cards, knitting needles, spinning tools, and yarn ready to begin the process for knitting. You can start your class knitting projects.

m. Bat Education – educator workshop and educator trunk

A model bat house is available to study. It shows a cross section of a constructed bat house. Students can follow enclosed directions and discussions on building bat houses.

A curriculum guide, books, posters and other educational activities are available to study bats integrating the materials into classroom curriculum.

Bat Education Web Sites:



n. Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation – educator workshop and educator trunk

Three ring binders with informational text regarding the past, present and future ideas about sovereignty issues, forms of government, and activities related to the cultural traditions of the nations of people are included. Videos covering salmon decisions related to tribal fisheries and a cultural video called “We Are” are available for showing. Games are available along with materials for explaining and showing Tule Reed mat construction. The regional Treaty of 1855 is included as a study unit.


o. Birds – Project WILD Flying; educator workshop and educator trunk

Using activities and informational resources participants learn about birds, birding, and resource related events. Many lessons and ways to have a classroom based study with a festival format also festival developed formats for the school or community. A bird observing backpack is available to use for bird counts and identification. Join thousands of people in a nationally recognized Backyard Bird Count.


p. Astronomy – educator workshop and educator trunk

Activities and lessons on planets, sun, and related astronomical events are supplied with this trunk. Lessons on light and monitoring the night sky using constellations are available. A Night Sky Light Monitoring program is in a separate trunk.

q. Invasive Plants – educator workshop and educator trunk

An inquiry into invasive plants and their effect on the environment is investigated. Hands on activities are included for field investigation approaches.

r. Sustainability – educator workshop and educator trunk

Lessons are available and hands on activities to educate students on issues of sustainability.

s. Climate Change – educator workshop and educator trunk

Lessons are available and hands on activities to educate students on climate change issues.

t. Environmental Curriculum – educator workshop and educator trunks

These Project WILD curriculums are available for teacher in-service training. Each is conducted in a four hour time frame. Clock hours are arranged for each curriculum.

Project WILD

Project WILD Aquatic

Project WILD Elk

Project WILD Flying

Project WILD Salmon

Project WET

Project Learning Tree

Did You Know?

painting of mission with wagon in front

The Whitmans’ mission was important to early Oregon Trail travelers. Those who were sick, tired, or hungry or who needed a wagon fixed would make the side trip to the mission. Some would spend the winter with the Whitmans before continuing on to the Willamette Valley.