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Educational Resources

Supporting families and teachers

The Historic Indian Agency House is pleased to partner with parents and teachers by providing educational materials, school visits, field trips, and special educational programming. We address social studies, Act 31 (American Indian Studies in Wisconsin), arts and humanities, and even STEM.

Each year, we develop a curriculum based upon the season's programmatic theme. Although the general age range is 3rd through 6th grade, the activities and lessons are readily adaptable for younger or older children and adults. In a classroom setting, the learning guide may be used as a stand-alone unit, or the lessons may be used a-la-carte to supplement a standard curriculum.


The Historic Indian Agency House is committed to serving the community and supporting teachers and families in their educational endeavors. Please enjoy these fascinating, fun, (and free!) educational materials with the children in your lives.

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The Fox and Wisconsin rivers come oh-so-close to connecting in Portage, Wisconsin. There is a little stretch of land less than two miles long separating them.  It might not seem like much, but this short trail between the rivers, located on ancestral Ho-Chunk land, held tremendous importance in times past.


What’s so special about this portaging trail? What were Wisconsin’s Native trails like in 1832?  What happened on the Ho-Chunk Trail of Tears?


Take a journey with us on the trails of the Fox-Wisconsin portage and beyond. Then let the trails bring you back home with a greater understanding of the stories which have shaped our history.

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Creative arts are powerful tools of expression within cultures, offering insights into the hearts and minds of people groups.  Unique styles of music, fine and decorative arts, storytelling, and dance flowed into the Fox-Wisconsin portage in 1832 as people from widely dissimilar backgrounds endeavored to live their daily lives in close quarters.  Even in the midst of a history which is otherwise saturated with conflict and turmoil, cultural creative arts formed a rich tapestry on the historic landscape.

What are creative arts? How might they be distinctive to cultural identity? What can we learn about the past by studying creative arts? What were the artistic sights and sounds of the portage like in 1832?

Come to value the differences which make people unique, and draw out the threads of commonality which tie all people together across cultural lines.

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Cultural geographer J.B. Jackson said, "Landscape is history made visible." What does that mean?

What is a landscape? What are the components of a landscape? How do people interact with the landscape? Do physical and cultural landscapes change over time? How and why?

Investigate the historic landscape with engaging lessons and hands-on activities through the perspectives of science, art, humanities, and American Indian Studies in Wisconsin (Act 31). 

Also explore our Landscape of Families outdoor exhibit and website.

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The stories of our past possess tremendous value.

How do we remember? 


What have our ancestors done to preserve history for us?

What can be done in the present to continue the stewardship of our heritage for the benefit of future generations?

Delivering history to the next generation requires a multidisciplinary approach. 


Students will be encouraged to think more deeply about how and why we look at the past via 7 topics and 40 activities.

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Learn hands-on what it takes to be an archaeologist!

This STEM-based camp, generously funded by Alliant Energy, was originally to be offered to students in grades 3 through 5 in May of 2020. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the in-person camps were canceled and this online version was produced. 


Watch a series of 6 videos, appx. 45 minutes total.

Students may do the hands-on activities right along with the videos! The curriculum guide helps you prepare.

Families may also participate in a real archaeological dig at HIAH.

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Enjoy doing historical activities and puzzles with your kids.

Free teacher packets for those whose classes visit
the Historic Indian Agency

Teachers: Be sure to also pick up a free teacher packet with historical literature to supplement your classroom studies when you come for a field trip at the Historic Indian Agency House. Homeschool teachers are also eligible for these free books. Learn more.

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