Copper TRACES Activity Stations

A group of students sits on the ground.
Students prepare for the end of the Copper TRACES field day.

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Explore the diverse activity stations from the 2019 event. These stations all connect with the topics of TRACES (Technology, Research, Art and music, Community, Environment, and Service), as well as Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations.

A group of students work a puzzle together.
A group of students plan their ideal community together.

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Landscape Uses and Development in the Keweenaw

Let's build a community! In this station students will work together to design their ideal place to live, play, and work. How will our region's historic background and unique landscape features shape the world we live in today? Time to experiment and find out!
Michigan Standards 4-H3.0.1, 4-H3.0.8, 4-G5.0.1

Adults and children sit in chairs in a circle talking with each other.
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly invites local elders to interact with students attending Copper TRACES.

NPS Photo: Victor Ierulli II

You've Got a Friend in Me

Sometimes it can be difficult to start a conversation with someone you do not know, especially if they are a different age from you. How do you start a conversation with this person? What do you talk about? Students will participate in a simulated home visit with local elderly to learn inclusivity, friendship, and empathy. Self-reflection will empower and encourage students to practice kindness in their everyday environment and interactions.
Michigan Standards 4-P3.1.1, 4-P4.2.1, 4-P4.2.2, SL.4.1a-d, SL.4.3
Three seated students listen to directions for the harp laying on a table in front of them.
In only 30 minutes, students learn how to play traditional songs on the kantele - the Finnish lap harp.

NPS Photo: Victor Ierulli II

Five Strings, Five Notes: Learn to Play the Kantele

The Finnish were and continue to be a significant immigrant group to the Keweenaw Peninsula. Their cultural influence remains today in foods (nisu), names (Maki), traditions (sauna), churches (Lutheran), music (kantele and dance), and even attitudes (sisu!). At this station, students will have an opportunity to explore one aspect of Finnish folk culture by learning to play the five string kantele - the Finnish lap harp. Each students will have a kantele to use. In only 30 minutes, students will be able to play some traditional songs, learning through demonstration, listening, and practice.
Michigan Standards 4-G4.0.1, ART.M.I.4.3, ART.M.I.4.6, ART.M.I.4.7, ART.M.III.K.3, ART.M.IV.4.1, ART.M.V.4.2, SL.4.1c-d
A student takes a piece of paper from a park ranger.
Students embark upon an immigrant's journey with a park ranger.

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An Immigrant's Journey

Embark upon a fantastic journey through interactive activities focusing on the many different immigrant groups who came to the Keweenaw Peninsula in the 19th and 20th centuries. By exposing students to art, music, and history of these immigrant groups, they will be able to see how people from different places had different experiences.
Michigan Standards 4-G4.0.1, 4-G4.0.2
A group of students listens to a speaker.
A group of students explore historic Downtown Calumet using tablets.

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Keweenaw Time Traveler Scavenger Hunt

Students will navigate to a given point in pairs, using only a compass for direction. Students will learn that similar methods were used to locate mining permit locations and for open water navigation.
Michigan Standards SL.4.1.c, SL.4.4
A student touches a rock.
A student explores different types of rocks.

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The Keweenaw Rocks!

Do rocks stay the same forever and ever? Are the rocks here in the Keweenaw cooler than other places? Students will be introduced to the rock cycle in order to learn about and identify the main rock types in the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Michigan Standards 4-ESS1-1
A fire truck.
Students can compare a modern fire truck to a historic model.

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Fighting Fires in 1900

If there is a fire today you call 911, but what about fires in 1900? How did people notify a fire station of a fire? What equipment did firefighters use to fight fires? Experience a 1918 fire truck, fire alarm, and more as students travel back in time with the Copper Country Firefighters History Museum.
Michigan Standards 4-H3.0.3, 4-G5.0.1
A group of students sit or stand on a map of Lake Superior.
Students explore the maritime history of Lake Superior.

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Great Lakes Shipping

Great Lakes maritime transportation made the copper boom of the Keweenaw possible. What kind of ships sailed? How did they get there? What people and materials did they carry? What challenges did the sailors face? Discover the answers to these questions and more as you set sail with the Keweenaw County Historical Society.
Michigan Standards 4-G1.0.1, 4-H3.0.1
A group of students listens to two speakers.
Students learn about the history and impact of the Copper Range Railroad.

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Copper Range Railroad Impacts Life on the Range

All aboard! Travel back to the 1900s, when the Copper Range Railroad took students from Stanton and Adams Townships to high school in Painesdale. Learn why the train went where it did, listen to stories from people who rode the train, and discover what the former train route is used for today.
Michigan Standards 4-3.0.1, 4-H3.0.4
A photocopy of a multi-colored stained glass panel is recreated by using colored transparency paper.
Students apply their new found knowledge about stained glass to a class-led faux stained glass project.

NPS Photo: Victor Ierulli II

Stained Glass Stories

Stained glass can be found in homes, businesses, and churches throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula. In churches, this stained glass often has a story to tell about those who attended there in the past. The Calumet Art Center, once the First Presbyterian Church, is no exception. After learning about the history of the beautiful windows at the Calumet Art Center, students will discover how stained glass is made and have the opportunity to create their own faux stained glass artwork.

Michigan Standards 4-G4.0.2, ART.VA.I.4.4, ART.VA.II.4.4, ART.VA.II.4.5, ART.VA.III.4.2, ART.VA.III.4.5, ART.VA.IV.4.1, ART.VA.V.4.4

A line of students move in motion to the right.
Students learn about the history of Jacobsville Sandstone in the Keweenaw.

Photo courtesy of Bill Fink Photography

Red Rock Wedgers vs. Red Rock Blasters

Jacobsville Sandstone from the Keweenaw helped build America! Find out how by taking a time machine back to the 1870s, discover what life was like as an immigrant, and learn to do your job as a red rock wedger or red rock blaster.
Michigan Standards 4-H3.0.1, 4-G4.0.1
Seated students have a discussion about old photographs.
Students learn about primary sources inside the Keweenaw History Center.

Photo courtesy of Bill Fink Photography

Primary Sources: How We Learn About History

What are primary sources? How do they help us learn about history? Discover what primary sources are, how archivists use them, and compare the past with present through photographs and an old time photo booth.
Michigan Standards 4-H3.0.2, 4-H3.0.4
A group of students look at a museum exhibit with adults.
Students get ready to explore blooming plants and their pollinators.

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Made for Each Other: Pollinators and Plants

We all depend on pollinators for much of our food, medicine, clothing, and more. But, who are these pollinators? How have plants and pollinators adapted to one another? Learn about the many forms these relationships take and why they are important to humans.
Michigan Standards NGSS 4-LS1-1, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.1, CSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.2
A group of students listens to directions.
A group of students get ready to start their activity.

Photo courtesy of Bill Fink Photography

Message in a Box

What do we as individuals value? How about as a community? Together your class will create a community time capsule and learn how preservation helps us tell our stories to future generations, and how what we choose to preserve tells others what we value.
Michigan Standards 4-C5.0.1, 4-C5.0.4, 4-P4.2.2
Hands use hammers to crush rock on a table.
Be the crusher of copper-bearing rock at the Sorting Quincy Copper activity station.

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Sorting Quincy Copper

How was copper extracted and separated from poor rock at the Quincy Mining Company? Use your hands to compare the manual and mechanical methods used, and how each contributed to the wealth of the company.
Michigan Standards 4-E1.0.1, 4-E1.0.3, 4-E1.0.5
Adults and students holding hands dance around a pole with flowers on it.
Students have an opportunity to perform traditional Finnish folk dancing once the midsummer pole is raised.

NPS Photo: Victor Ierulli II

Scandinavian Midsummer Traditions

Celebrate midsummer early at Copper TRACES this May! Students will use their imaginations to transport themselves to a Scandinavian midsummer celebration. They will gather around the midsummer pole to learn about historical and modern midsummer celebrations, sing seasonal songs, create a small craft project, and more!
Michigan Standards: 4 – H3.0.2, 4 – G4.0.2
Mannequins with early 20th century clothing on.
Students use their senses to explore clothing of the past with the Friends of Fashion.

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What They Wore: Attending School in the 1910s

Travel back in time with your students to an early 20th century classroom in the Calumet area. What was the teacher like? How about the students? Discover the culture of a typical classroom through period clothing, the materials clothing was made out of, and more with the Friends of Fashion.
Michigan Standards 4 – H3.0.4, D2.His.3.3-5., ART.VA.III.4.5, ART.VA.IV.4.2, SL.4.1c

Hands use a brush to wipe sand away from artifacts.
Students use learned archaeologist techniques to discover what stories artifacts have to tell.

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Archaeology - Solving the Mystery on Elm Street

The vacant lot at 99 Elm Street has been empty since the great fire of 1898. Some people say the old drug store used to be here; others say a large home belonging to a local family stood here. All the town maps and property records were destroyed in the fire. How can archaeology help solve the mystery? What can this vacant lot tell us about life in 1898? Beginning with a research question, students will work in small teams to form hypotheses, gather data from mock excavation and compare/contrast the data with their original hypotheses. Then all teams will share and compare data to reach an answer that best fits the data. Can your team of student archaeologists solve the Mystery on Elm Street?

Michigan Standards D2.Geo.5.3-5., D2.Geo.11.3-5., SL.4.1c

A woman with a hard hat on shows two students photographs.
Different types of bridges throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula are explored by students.

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Let's Get to the Other Side!

The Portage Lake Lift Bridge is a lifeline that stretches across the Portage Canal connecting the Keweenaw Peninsula. Over time the bridge evolved from a wooden swing bridge to the concrete and steel lift bridge we cross today. What type of engineering goes into constructing a bridge? What types of design constraints did the engineers have here? Explore these ideas and more as your students construct their own bridge over the Portage Canal.
Michigan Standards 3-5-ETS1-1, D2.Geo.8.3-5., SL.4.1c
A group of students listen to directions from an adult on a stage.
Discover what is was and still is like to be on stage at The Calumet Theatre.

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On Stage at the Calumet Theatre

Since 1900, audiences have been “wowed” by the acoustics, architecture, history, and overall grandeur of The Calumet Theatre. Despite being a historic theatre, how live theatrical acts are presented today are different than how they were presented in the past. Students will experience the excitement of being on stage at the Calumet Theatre by using the stage as a portal into the art of stagecraft of the past.
Michigan Standards 4 – H3.0.4, D2.His.2.3-5., ART.T.IV.4.1
A standing park ranger talks to a group of students seated at three tables.
Students experienced what piecework work was by participating in a mock assembly line.

NPS Photo: Victor Ierulli II

Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives

Jacob Riis (1849-1914) was a pioneering newspaper reporter and social reformer in New York at the turn of the twentieth century. His then-novel idea of using photographs of the city's slums to illustrate the plight of impoverished residents established Riis as forerunner of modern photojournalism. In September and October 2019, Keweenaw National Historical Park will be hosting Jacob A. Riis: How the Other Half Lives, a traveling exhibit sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities at the Calumet Visitor Center. At Copper TRACES, students will discover children of the poor at work through a hands-on assembly line that not only explores the meanings of work, but what it might have been like to be a child working at this time in history.

Michigan Standards: 4 – H3.0.1, 4 – H3.0.4

Last updated: June 16, 2022

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