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Gallery + Classroom Program: Journeys West: Wagon Trails to Route 66

Dates Available: All school year

Grade Level: This program is available for K–5th grades only.

Minimum Number of Students: 25 students

Maximum Number of Students: 70 students

Gallery Visited:   Route 66

Program Duration: 2 hours

People in America have been traveling west for hundreds of years, from the explorations of Lewis and Clark, to 1950s tourists motoring along Route 66, to family vacations today. Through an interactive game that combines history and math, students will discover how transportation, reasons for travel, and challenges of the journey have changed over time.

*This program has math connections.

In the Galleries
On the Journeys West tour, students visit 4 areas of our galleries representing different aspects of travel along Route 66. Throughout the gallery stops, students play a progressive game in which they make travel decisions, calculate their expenses, and encounter challenges along the way. Here’s a closer look at what the students will see and do (*Please note that the following stops may not occur in chronological order, and portions of each stop may be cut out if your group arrives late):

  • At stop 1 students will recognize familiar places like White Castle and Ted Drewes, as they compare the 1950s dining experience with today’s travel meal options.
  • At stop 2 students will learn about the different lodging options available along Route 66 in St. Louis, and will consider how these options would meet the needs of different travelers.
  • At stop 3 students will compare and contrast older vehicles to the types of transportation they know and use today. They will also imagine what it was like to communicate with family back home without a cell phone. 
  • At stop 4 students encounter many of the popular attractions along Route 66 as they draw conclusions about what motivates people to travel.

In the Classroom
Continuing their travel game in the classroom, students will investigate other historic journeys that passed through St. Louis including the Corps of Discovery, the 49ers, and migrants settling the west. They will compare and contrast the motivations, modes of transportation, and challenges these historic travelers faced. (*Please note that portions of the activity may be cut out if your group arrives late and if your group is over 35 students, half of the group may do the classroom first).

 Please read our K-12 Policies before booking this program.

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Critical Thinking
Regardless of which field trip experience you choose, all of our programs are designed to emphasize the critical thinking skills students use in museums, the classroom, and as lifelong learners. These big goals drive our program creation, our staff training, and our program evaluation for a holistic and outcome-driven approach.

For all K–12 programs we strive to create and facilitate experiences in which learners will individually and collaboratively use Museum spaces, objects, and content to:

  • compare and contrast the past and present
  • make connections between the people, places, and stories of history and their personal experience
  • comprehend and evaluate multiple perspectives and past choices
  • express and support their own perspectives on history

Here are some Pre-Visit Activities and other resources.

Program Modifications
We understand that there are many factors that may cause your bus to be late. However, due to other group reservations and the schedules of our Museum Educators, we can't extend the length of your visit past your reservation time. If you arrive late, we'll do our best to still deliver the program you reserved; however, modifications may be necessary depending on your arrival time. For groups that are excessively late, significant changes to your program will be necessary.

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