Curriculum Materials

For additional activities and lesson plans related to Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site or other National Park Sites, go to the NPS Teacher Portal.

Curriculum Lessons And Activities Created 2016

The first set of lessons were developed in 2016, focusing on experiential education while keeping in mind current standards and integration of curriculum subjects: math, science, art, geography, reading and writing.

Pre/Post Test - Printable test you can distribute to your students to test their knowledge of Bent's Old Fort history. Questions are based on 4th grade Colorado Curriculum standards.

The Self Guided Activity Book was created to enhance the experience at Bent's Old Fort NHS by providing discussion questions, geared toward the 4th grade Colorado curriculum, for use during field trips. Teachers may modify the book to fit the needs of their classroom.

See, Wonder, Think about Bent's Old Fort - Students will use critical thinking skills to observe, question and find clues to answer their questions about pictures taken around Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site.

Moving and Learning Jobs of Bent's Old Fort - This activity provides the students a chance to move while learning about and/or reviewing different jobs at Bent's Old Fort. The students will associate movements with different jobs. This activity provides a break for students to stretch and recharge which will help them to focus on your next activity.

Pieces of Eight and Card Game - Students practice using fractions while learning a popular 19th century card game "Monty." Students immerse themselves in history by understanding people might loose their possessions quickly in the Billiard Room at Bent's Old Fort int he 19th century.

Parallel or Intersecting on the Santa Fe Trail - Students practice differentiating between parallel and intersecting lines while looking at a map of the Santa Fe Trail.

Write About A 19th Century Job - Printable activity sheet with pictures asking students to write about a 19th century job.

Job Card Sorting - Students sort jobs of Bent's Fort into different categories and discuss their reasoning.

Winter Count - Students will learn about Winter Counts. Students will answer questions about a meteor shower. What importance did the Winter Count have to the Native American tribes? Students could give one reason to “Why was the winter count important to the Native American tribes?"

Music and Dance - Students will have an opportunity to experience an aspect of life of the 19th century by listening to and dancing to music of that time period.

19th Century Games - Students will play a 19th century game. Students will compare games played today to games of the 19th century.

Build An Adobe Fort - Students will make decisions while building a small adobe fort.
Students will learn about resource use in construction of Bent's Fort.

Trade Goods Activities - Learn about 19th Century Trade Items. Make decisions to get a good trade deal. Color in cards while talking about each item. Answer questions about the price and value of trade goods.

Wheel "Carpentry" Activity - Students fix a "wheel" made out of toilet paper rolls. Students review fractions while learning about wagon repairs at Bent's Old Fort.

Performing Arts as a Culminating Activity - Students perform a scene or research of a historical or ficitional character at Bent's Fort in the 1840s.

Class Develops Book For A Younger Grade - As a class, students develop a book about Bent's Fort that could be read to a younger grade.

Lessons Created 2008

The lessons below were developed in 2008, but could be modified for today's curriculum standards. The goal is to help students gain an understanding of the people, time and place of Bent’s Old Fort. The lessons can be used for stand alone, in class or pre and post visit of the Fort. History, math, science, geography, reading and writing have been included in the lessons. The activities were developed to meet curriculum standards of grades 4-6. Contact the park at 719-383-5023 for a copy.

Lesson 1 - What I Think I Know
Goal: The students will complete a pre- assessment activity to establish baseline knowledge that will assist the teacher in planning for the Bent’s Fort connection to Colorado History.

Lesson 2 - The National Park and You
Goals: The students will learn what a National Park is and why Bent's Old Fort is part of the National Park System. They will learn why National Parks are important and what the visitor's responsibilities are.

Lesson 3 - The Past: What I Think I Know
Goals: Students will learn how we know about life in the early 1800s when no one is alive from that time period to inform us.

Lesson 4 - Time Travel
Goal: The students will learn the chronological organization of historical events and people.

Lesson 5 - Map it Up
Goal: The students will construct maps to locate and derive information about people, places, and environments.

Lesson 6 - Why do People Move?
Goal: The students will learn the reasons of why people moved west in the 1800's and make comparisons with today.

Lesson 7 - Compare and Contrast
Goal: The students discover what diversity is, who the people were and how technology, economics, and science changed over time.

Lesson 8 - Bent's Old Fort Historical Inquiry
Goal: Students will learn how to use the processes and resources of historical inquiry.

Last updated: September 3, 2021

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