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Take Home Activity Kits

Pioneer Activity Kit
Let’s step away from our screens and step into history for a hands-on pioneer adventure!  This kit geared toward 3rd - 5th graders will have them planning their pioneer adventure, packing a pioneer wagon, imagining and drawing a new area to settle, growing a garden and even creating a pioneer toy! The Pioneer Activity Kit includes an activity script and all materials needed for the activities. 
Trains Activity Kit
This take home kit is geared towards 3rd-5th graders.  Kids will be able to imagine themselves as passengers on a 1860s steam locomotive by learning about different types of train cars and  locomotives, creating their own tickets, and constructing their own trains!  The Trains Activity Kit includes an activity script and handouts needed to complete them. Created by Katura Hagerman, 2020 Summer Education Intern.
Quilt Activity Kit
This kit geared toward 3rd-5th graders will guide them through the history of quilts and how they are made.  They will practice making quilt block designs with various colors and shapes and make their own paper quilt.
Civil War Activity Kit
This activity kit for 6th-9th graders will give you an overview of the American Civil War and guide you in making your own spy book! Civil war informational booklet and materials for spy book are included.
How do I get a kit?
1. Email to request the kit: 
Karolina Kowalczyk, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator 
2. Schedule a Pioneer Activity Kit pick up date and approximate time. 
3. Contactless pick up! The kit will be left outside the office in time for your chosen pick up date and time. 
Pick up location: 
McHenry County Historical Society and Museum 
6422 Main St 
Union, IL 60180 

Custom Resources for Educators

We know our McHenry County educators are navigating a new way of teaching this school year and we are here to help! If an in-person history lesson is not an option for you, please reach out to us to discuss custom remote or take-home educational resources related to McHenry County history that fit your classroom needs.

Field Trips and Group Tours

Please note we are currently limiting the field trips and group tours to 10 individuals.

Museum Tour
Come visit our museum and get a personal tour from our museum docents. Students will be divided up into four rotating groups, each with a different experience. They will be taught a mini lesson outside of our West Harmony School, learn all about Native Americans, get to search out answers in our new exhibit: "Prairie Trails to Strange Tails" and do pioneer chores and games outside our 1843 Gannon Log Cabin.
Run Time: 1 hour     Grades: 3rd-5th     Price: $3 per Student*
Museum tours are free to schools whose townships and/or municipalities become governmental members of the Society.

In-School Programs

Each presentation is designed for each grade and is geared towards each classrooms specific interest.
Native Americans
Learn all about the Native Americans who lived in McHenry County. A staff member from the McHenry County Historical Society will  talk to your class with real Native American artifacts. We’ll talk about their day to day lives, what their homes were like and their diet.
Run Time: 45 Minutes     Grades: 1st-5th     Price: $2 per student *
McHenry Now and Then
Have you ever wondered what children were doing in McHenry County over 100 years ago? With this fun program, you’ll be able to see and hear all about children’s lives in the late 1800’s. What they did for fun, what school was like and even what chores they had to do. A staff member from the McHenry County Historical Society will come in to teach your class and let your students see artifacts over 100 years old!  They’ll be able to ask questions and see photos to truly understand how different life was back then, and how in a lot of ways was the same!
Run Time: 45 Minutes     Grades: 1st-3rd     Price: $2 per student *
Pioneer Life
Learn all about the lives of pioneer children from a staff member from the McHenry County Historical Society. In this program, we’ll discuss the challenges pioneers face along with what chores had to be done, schooling and what they did for fun! Students will get to see photos and pioneer inspired toys.
Run Time: 45 Minutes     Grades: 1st-3rd     Price: $2 per student *
* Discount field trip admissions for students whose schools are located in jurisdiction of a Governmental Member. These schools pay $1 per student, rather the $2.

Educational Videos

A 40- minute video, titled "The History of McHenry County," is available through your local library or the regional school superintendent’s office in Woodstock. It and a DVD on McHenry County barns also may be borrowed from historical society.



Online Educational Resources

If you are interested in the Activity Kits but are not local to the area, please email a request to receive the kit digitally.

Upcoming Videos

The next Food History at Home episode will be on cookies and posted on February 2.

Museum Highlights

Food History at Home 

Episode 1: Butter


Museum Highlights Episode 1: 

"The Fight for Illinois Suffrage"

Museum Highlights Episode 2: 

"Riding the Rails"

Museum Highlights Episode 3: 

"Call to Arms"

Museum Highlights Episode 4:

The West Harmony School

Museum Highlights Episode 5:

Holidays in the Pioneer Cabin