Grades 3-5 Curriculum

The following lesson plans were designed to prepare your students to gain the most possible benefit from the field trip by familiarizing them with specialized vocabulary and themes prior to the tour.  The lessons are aligned with Missouri and Kansas state standards in social studies and science, along with Common Core standards in English language arts.  There are various lessons designed to accommodate your time allotments; please feel free to tailor them to your classroom’s unique resources and goals.

The “Background/Vocabulary” includes the story of the Arabia’s sinking and excavation, along with key vocabulary words that will be utilized during the tour.  It is best to share this information with your class before the field trip. Seeing and hearing the vocabulary beforehand will make it easier to comprehend the guided tour and appreciate the context of the artifacts on display.  Other activities range from simple discussion topics to ambitious research projects; they can be utilized before or after the tour or omitted for time.  It is our hope to offer an excellent Kansas City field trip, relevant to local history, while providing teachers with multiple options to build connections between their own curricula and the story of the Steamboat Arabia.

The Elementary Discovery Field Trip is perfect for third through fifth graders studying: Midwestern geography, bodies of water (especially the Missouri River), erosion, Westward Expansion, transportation systems, famous Missourians, Missouri history, Kansas history, archaeology, and the importance of primary sources and artifacts in learning about the past.  Any class discussing the period of American history leading up to the Civil War will benefit from seeing frontier goods in person.  For questions about our programs or to schedule a tour, please call 816-471-1856 or email:

Click to view the curriculum as a pdf file (right-click to download):

Arabia 3-5 Curriculum

View individual lesson plans on the web by clicking links below: