Traveling Trunk

Saint Croix 1604 Traveling Trunk

Saint Croix 1604 traveling trunk contents.
Shoes, clothing, tools, and food; all the necessities of 1604.


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The 1604 Teacher Trunks includes:
  1. Teacher’s Guide (French and English versions)This 40-page guide has five units: Keeping a Journal, European Exploration & Settlement, The Meeting of Two Worlds, St. Croix Island: Survival & Adaptation, and St. Croix Island’s Legacy: Acadia & New France. It provides many activities, describes associated trunk resources, identifies learning outcomes, and makes suggestions for extended study.
  2. Historical Background (French and English versions)This 13-page reference puts the St. Croix settlement in context with other early North American explorations. It describes Europe and the First Peoples of the St. Croix area at the time of 1604, describes the people and the life of the St. Croix settlement, and concludes with the settlement’s legacy. A bibliography is provided.
  3. Excerpts from the Journals of Samuel de Champlain (Old French and English)This 35-page narrative contains excerpts from Champlain’s personal diary, with English translation and modern footnotes. Champlain gives a vivid account of life on the tiny island.
  4. Champlain’s map of the St. Croix SettlementThis large, laminated map depicts the settlement and identifies the buildings on St. Croix Island. It is a key reference in the trunk.
  5. Resource BinderA three-ring binder filled with resources and inventory information to assist the teacher in successfully conducting the activities outlined in the Teacher’s Guide. It includes laminated historical photos and images of First Nations and French material culture. It also includes originals of student activity sheets such as maps, journal pages, and templates for photocopying.
  6. Miniature FlagsThe flags of England, France, and Spain represent the imperial ambitions of the three European nations. Curriculum materials help students to understand why each of these nations wanted to colonize North America.
  7. Spices and PyriteCinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, and cloves suggest the spice trade and the search for a shortcut to the Orient. Pyrite (“fool’s gold”) suggests the riches and potential mineral wealth of the New World.
  8. Beaver PeltThe focus of a lucrative fur trade, in high demand for fashionable hats in Europe.
  9. Wooden CrossSymbolizing the desire of the imperial nations to convert the First Peoples to Christianity.
  10. First Nations Reference Books and Audio CassettesTwo reference books (Passamaquoddy Maliseet Reference BookandMaine Indians, A Brief Summary: The People of the Early Dawn) help students to understand native culture and language. Three cassette tapes, prepared by Passamaquoddy tribal elders, teach the listener to pronounce the words in the first reference.
  11. French Wooden Shoe and Passamaquoddy MoccasinThese suggest the difference in clothing worn by the two cultures and prompt discussion about the adaptations to different environments.
  12. Passamaquoddy Birch Bark Container and Ceramic French Cider MugThese symbolize the different materials available to each culture and prompt discussion about how resources affect the development of cultural traits.
  13. A Videotape Adventure (French and English versions)This 10-minute videotape, produced by Parks Canada, follows two children who slip through a time portal to talk with Champlain about the hard winter at St. Croix in 1604 and the year that followed at Port Royal.
The St. Croix 1604 Interpretive Trunk contains a total of 30 items.

Downloadable Trunk Contents
Two documents from the trunk are available electronically and are meant as a starting point for educators.

The first document details the history of the island. If you choose to download the teacher's guide, the historical background is included in the guide as well.

  • The second document is a teacher's guide, including activities to do with students. It consists of five units, each of which allows the students to understand the history of Saint Croix from another perspective.
    -Saint Croix Island International Historic Site: Teacher's Guide(pdf - 3.2mb)
  • -Lieu historique international de l'Île-Sainte-Croix: Guide de l'enseignant ou de l'enseignante

Borrowing Instructions

The trunk is available to schools for loan, free of charge, except for postage and insurance when the trunk is being shipped. You may also pick the trunk up in person.

To borrow a Saint Croix 1604 Trunk:

  1. Contact the education coordinator at one of the two national park offices nearest you to confirm availability and reserve your dates. Trunks are generally loaned for one month at a time, with possibility for extension depending on demand.
    • Saint Croix Island International Historical Site - Park Ranger
      P.O. Box 247
      Calais, ME 04619
      207-454-3871 phone/fax
    • Acadia National Park - Education Office
      P.O. Box 177
      Bar Harbor, ME 04609
      207-288-8822 phone
      207-288-8813 fax
  2. Download a copy of the Loan Agreement, available here: Loan Form.
  3. Fill in the school portion of the form, complete with signatures, and send to the education coordinator, along with payment, if required.



American Indian History and Culture, Archaeology, Architecture, Art, Botany, Ecology, Family Life, Historic Preservation, History, Social Studies
Passamaquoddy, Native American culture, Native American history, Wabanaki, Samuel de Champlain, Saint Croix, Saint Croix Island, Beaver
Traveling Trunk

Last updated: February 26, 2015