Copper TRACES Traveling Trunk

An assortment of items including brochures and snap circuit kits surround a trunk that says "Copper TRACES Traveling Trunk."
The Copper TRACES Traveling Trunk features an assortment of materials and activities that accompany the Trunk's eight lesson plans.

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The Copper TRACES Traveling Trunk (traveling trunk) is an educational tool available for 4th grade educators and equivalents throughout the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The traveling trunk is one component of the Copper TRACES program at Keweenaw National Historical Park, which provides an integrated, place-based experience throughout the school year to develop appreciation for and understanding of the resources that make Keweenaw National Historical Park a national park.

The traveling trunk is a kit of lesson plans and materials that can be checked out by formal, informal, and homeschool educators. All of the lesson plans are designed to be used as part of a larger unit or as individual education experiences. The essential question that the traveling trunk explores is:

What can we as individuals and as a community do to protect and preserve the resources of Keweenaw National Historical Park?

Read the Copper TRACES Traveling Trunk Unit Plan for more information about the Traveling Trunk's contents and activities.


Traveling Trunk Check Out

Traveling trunks can be checked out for 2 week periods between November 1 and April 30. There are three trunks available for check out. To reserve a traveling trunk, please contact us. Please provide your contact information and when you would be interested in having a traveling trunk. For educators at schools with multiple fourth grades, please coordinate with your colleagues to have one trunk at your school for a longer period of time.

Traveling Trunk Lesson Plans

Lesson 1 - What is Copper TRACES?

Students will learn what Copper TRACES is in a park-produced video, how the acronym vocabulary connects to park resources, and apply their vocabulary knowledge to a writing activity of their choice.

Lesson 2 - T is for Technology

Students will learn about changing energy needs in historic Red Jacket (Calumet), which materials are conductors and which are insulators, and how electrical circuits work by assembling snap circuits.

Lesson 3 - R is for Research

Students will learn about what primary and secondary sources are, apply their new knowledge by investigating a mysterious local building, and analyze the value of research and primary and secondary sources.

Lesson 4 - A is for Art

Students will learn about the tradition of Finnish folk dancing and perform, compare, and contrast multiple Finnish folk dances.

Lesson 5 - C is for Community

Students will learn about the effects stamp sands are having on Buffalo Reef in Keweenaw Bay, how local groups are addressing the issue, and participate in a Circle of Viewpoints activity where they explore one stakeholder perspective for themselves.

Lesson 6 - E is for Environment

Students will learn vocabulary about the main processes of Keweenaw copper mining, participate in an interactive story about the milling and smelting history of Torch Lake, and engage in a fishbowl discussion where they share their thoughts and feelings about Torch Lake today.

Lesson 7 - S is for Service

Students will learn more about the Every Kid Outdoors program bill at the federal level of government, where the funding for the national parks comes from, and how taking informed action can influence change for themselves and others.

Lesson 8 - Copper TRACES Wrap-Up

Students will make connections between their knowledge of the Copper TRACES acronym and the Keweenaw Heritage Sites during a brochure activity, as well as create a brochure of their own as a culminating unit activity.


Copper TRACES Traveling Trunk Video

This video can viewed on its own or used in conjuction with Lesson 1 - What is Copper TRACES? There are versions available with open captions, audio description, and open captions / audio description.
A group of people seated at a table write thoughts down on paper.
The Copper TRACES Traveling Trunk educator team met in July of 2018.

NPS Photo

Copper TRACES Traveling Trunk Educator Team

These lesson plans were developed and tested by five fabulous area educators: Sue Destrampes, Heather Hainault, Joan Horst, Kristi Pestka, and Kristiina Vanhala. Their passion for their students and the place they call home is inspiring. Thank you to each of them for what they do for the education communiy and Keweenaw NHP. We could not have done it without you!

Last updated: June 16, 2022

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25970 Red Jacket Road
Calumet, MI 49913


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