29 Modern Time-Capsule Trunk

Competencies: Social Studies, Social Studies Skills

Social Studies Skills 5.4: Creates a product that uses social studies content to support a thesis and presents the product in an appropriate manner to a meaningful audience.


Objective: 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.

Materials: the Issaquah History Kit, objects from home (one small item from each child), letter home (see attached), board, large paper and a pen, or an overhead for brainstorming ideas, a container for the collected materials


  1. Discuss the items that are in the Issaquah History Kit.  Discuss why these photos, newspaper articles, books, and objects were selected.  For example, there are pieces of coal, photos of coal miners and a miner’s hat to show the importance coal mining had on the development of Issaquah.
  2. Brainstorm ideas for items that would represent the current, modern era.  Which photos or items would tell the most about our life today?  If people today put together a trunk that was to be opened in 100 years, like a time capsule, what should be in that trunk?  What would a class photo tell people about us 100 years from now?
  3. Tell students that they will get to put together a class trunk that represents life today.  Each student may choose one, relatively small item to place in the trunk.  They must write, or have an adult at home help them to write, a short paragraph explaining what the item or photo is, how it is used and how it is representative of everyday life.
  4. If objects will be returned to students, assign a date for all items to be returned.  Pass out the home activity letter to students.
  5. When students have brought their items and written descriptions of the items to school, have each child tell what they brought and why they think it should be included in the trunk.
  6. Share the class trunk with another class or put it on display in the school library or office area.


Activity 29 (PDF)
Activity 29 (DOC)
Letter to Parents

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