History Kit

The Issaquah History Museums’ comprehensive History Kit is designed to help primary school teachers meet the Issaquah School District’s social studies curriculum standards. Thirty lesson-plan ideas with games, photographs, videos, digital presentations, and hands-on items make integrating history into the classroom both fun and memorable. What a great way to help kids get their hands on history!

The History Kit includes an Activity Guide, a slideshow, videos, photographs, hands-on artifacts, and other resources. The Activity Guide describes thirty activities covering geography, history concepts, Native Americans, early settlers, and community life in historic Issaquah. Culminating activities give students an opportunity to demonstrate an accurate knowledge of the information presented and exhibit an awareness of the relationship between people, environment, and culture.

The current version of the History Kit constitutes a significant expansion and update to previous Issaquah history units. The first history unit was compiled by Joe Peterson in 1979. It was updated in 1987, updated again in 1995, revised in 1998, revised and expanded in 2002, and updated again in 2009. The 2002 and 2009 revisions were made possible through grants from 4Culture. The new History Kit was designed align with and complement curriculum requirements, and it reflects input from historians and educators, including local third-grade teachers. It is uniquely suited to support Issaquah teachers in meeting curriculum requirements in a way that is memorable and enjoyable for educators and students alike.

Hands-on versions of the History Kit are available at no charge to teachers in the Issaquah School District through the Issaquah School District’s May Valley Service Center. Educators can reserve a kit by calling the Instructional Media Center at (425)837-5056 or (425)837-5057.

We hope you enjoy using the History Kits and find the activities helpful in teaching Issaquah history!


1 Locating Issaquah

Students determine where we live on maps of the world, United States of America, Washington State, and Seattle and the greater Eastside. They find Issaquah on the maps of Washington State and Seattle.

2 Issaquah Maps

Students name all of the things a community has such as post office, library, school, park, museum, etc and create a map of their own community. They become familiar with a map of Issaquah, map symbols and features. Students create their own map of where they live and play.


3 Communities and Town Histories

Students learn what makes up a community and how communities are alike and different. They learn the differences between villages, towns, cities and suburbs. Students learn various ways to find out more about a town’s history, including street signs, town names, objects, maps, houses and buildings. They use the development of Issaquah as an example of how a community begins and grows, changing and adapting with the times.

Discovering History

4 What do your students know?

Students have an opportunity to share what they already know about the history of their local community, and then brainstorm what they would like to find out about the history of their community.

5 Be a History Mystery Detective

Students brainstorm all of the resources we have to learn about the past: photos, letters, journals, memoirs, newspapers, interviews, people, official records, artifacts, objects, etc. They discover how we learn about the past, specifically through asking questions and thinking about clues in artifacts.

6 Photo Study

Using a photo that depicts life in the past in Issaquah, students learn facts about Issaquah’s history. Then, they use their imagination to write their own story about what is happening in the photos.

Native Americans

7 Native Plant Uses

Students discover how Native Americans used plants in the Issaquah area to meet their basic needs, and compare that with how these basic needs are met today.

8 Native American Stories

Students listen to several Native American stories about how something in nature came to be. Then they write their own story about how something in nature came to be

9 Map of Native American Villages and Trails

Students learn about the places that Native Americans lived, traveled, and conducted their daily lives in the Issaquah and Lake Sammamish area. Students consider solutions to the problems that the Native Americans had to face. Students also consider how natural landforms, lakes, hills, forests, wetlands, etc. influence Native American settlement and travel.

10 Mary Louie

Students compare historical information, the age of Native American Mary Louie, and think about why interpretations of her age differ from source to source.

Early Settlers

11 Squak Valley

Students compare life for the early settlers and life now in Issaquah by listening to several selections from an early settler’s, Bessie Wilson Craine’s memoirs. Then students write a journal entry as if they were Bessie.

12 Dear Annie

Students brainstorm possible solutions to problems that Native Americans and early settlers faced in the Issaquah area.

At Home

13 Living Without Lights

Students examine objects that were used in the past as substitutes for their modern day electric devices (washboards for washing machines, stereograph for T.V. or movies, toy bank for electronic toys, rug beater for a vacuum, curling iron without plug for modern curling irons that heat electronically, hair curlers, or perms).

14 Quilting

Students learn about Beryl Baxter, Issaquah’s matriarch, renowned in the community for her quilting. Find out how pioneer girls learned math and geometry through quilting and needlepoint. They make a class quilt from fabric or construction paper, each quilt block piece depicting a different aspect of Issaquah history.

15 Making Butter

Students make butter just as the early settlers did. They look at an actual butter mold and press, and read an article about the history of butter presses.

At Work

16 Issaquah Pioneer Life Game

Students choose an occupation specific to Issaquah’s history and experience the joys and difficulties of pioneer life as they play a game.

17 Our Diverse Community

Students learn that the people who settled in what is now the Issaquah area, came from many different places. Students then research and document their own family tree and by doing so, discover that their family also contributes to the different ethnic, racial, religious and social groups that make up their local community.

18 Town Name

Students discover the fascinating history behind the four names that people have called the area that is now known as Issaquah.

19 What If?

Students discover how differing environments have provided varying opportunities and limits for human activity in the Issaquah area.

Children at School and at Play

20 Children Now and Then

Students compare and contrast a child’s life at school and at play, now and 100 years ago.

Modern History: The Last 100 Years

21 Timelines

Students create a timeline of local history highlighting events and historical eras by placing information in chronological order.

22 Murals

Students watch the PowerPoint slides about the Bill Haddon mural, and are introduced to various perspectives and historical biases. Students make their own mural of Issaquah history, each student contributing a portion.

23 Memories

Students read or listen to memories from the book, Preserving the Stories of Issaquah. Then they write their own memories. An extension is to do an oral history with a parent or grandparent.

24 Technology Causes and Effects

Students examine technological advancements in transportation. Using a population graph, they see the impact that this technology has had on Issaquah, and discover how this has affected people, resources, and cultures.

25 Comparing Information

Students read two articles about the same place or event and compare how each author chose to portray the event. Students discover how different information can be gathered when using more than one resource to learn about history.

26 Celebrations and Pastimes

Students compare the various celebrations and pastimes Issaquah has honored over the years.

Reflection and Culminating Activities

27 The Past 100 Years

Students draw or write what has changed and what has stayed the same over the past 100 years.

28 ABC and Who’s Who Books

Students organize and record information that they have learned about Issaquah’s history by creating a class “ABC’s of Issaquah’s History” or “Who’s Who” book Issaquah’s history.

29 Modern Time-Capsule Trunk

Students create a museum trunk/time-capsule; each student brings an object and tells why it should be included. As a finale, students can ask to host the “Cherishing Our Heritage” exhibit at the Issaquah History Museums.

30 Brochure to the Past

Students compare several brochures and then create their own brochure inviting people to visit Issaquah’s past.