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!


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

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.

Native Americans

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.

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.

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.

At Work

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.

Children at School and at Play

Modern History: The Last 100 Years

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.

Reflection and Culminating Activities