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Trunk reservations for the 2019-2020 school year are open. Teachers can reserve a trunk during the fall or spring semester.
Tennessee’s Traveling Treasures brings Tennessee to life in your classroom. This educational outreach program developed by the Tennessee State Museum provides teachers with hands-on materials that will connect students to Tennessee history and culture in a very real and engaging way.
Filled with real and reproduction artifacts, portraits, paintings, books, music CDs, DVDs, and more, the trunks allow teachers to tap new and creative ways to experience social studies in their classroom.
From the Mississippian moundbuilders to the Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee, teachers can access ten different trunk topics. All trunks have been developed so that all materials will be used in easy to follow step-by-step lesson plans that address many state and national curriculum standards. Each trunk provides teachers with creative lesson plans, museum quality mounted images, primary source artifacts, reproductions, and much more.
To learn more about the content of a traveling trunk and how it meets curriculum standards or to reserve a trunk, click the links below.
Request a Trunk
Click links below to find detailed information
How much does it cost?
How to reserve a trunk?
Multiple teacher use
If you need to contact us by phone, call (615) 770-5857 or toll-free 1-800-407-4324.
There is no rental fee to use the trunk. Tennessee teachers can receive the trunk free of charge, but must pay to ship the trunk back to the museum. Out-of-state teachers must pay shipping charges in both directions.
Teachers who live near Nashville may also return the trunk directly to the Tennessee State Museum. They can be dropped off at the museum's dock on the west side of the museum, on Rosa L. Parks Blvd. Please let us know prior to dropping off the trunk so we can make sure that we receive it.
Follow the links below to view the trunk description, curriculum standards, and lesson plans. Each trunk may be reserved for a three-week period. This includes transit to and from the school.
After deciding on your trunk, click on the button above to access the trunk reservation form. Fill out the form and submit it electronically.
Teachers may also call the Public Programs Department to request a trunk or if you have any questions. Call (615) 770-5857 or call toll-free 1-800-407-4324 and ask for Public Programs.
You will receive a confirmation by e-mail or mail. Your trunk is not reserved until you receive a confirmation.
Don't lose anything! Teachers are responsible for returning all the items in the trunk. Some of the items are expensive and take time to replace. When a teacher receives a trunk, he/she will also receive an inventory list. He/She should check to make sure that everything on that list is in the trunk, and to let the museum know if there are any missing items. Then, before returning the trunk, he/she should make sure that all inventoried items are in the trunk. If a trunk comes back to the museum without items, the teacher who signed the inventory list is responsible for replacing the items. Normal wear and tear is expected and the teacher will not have to replace any worn items.
Don't return it late - Returning the trunk in a timely manner is also important. Due to popularity, some trunks are completely booked. If a teacher returns a trunk late, then the next scheduled teacher will receive the trunk late. Please be considerate of your fellow teachers and return the trunks on time!
Multiple teacher use - If there are multiple teachers at one school who want to use a trunk, we will allow them to reserve a trunk together for two, three-week periods. Please indicate this on the reservation form under your requested dates. Also, list all the teachers’ names who will be using the trunk, as well as the total number of students using the trunk materials. For obvious reasons, we cannot allow a trunk to stay at one school for more than six weeks. Important note: If multiple teachers are using the trunks, the teacher whose name is on the reservation form is still responsible for getting all the materials back. He/she might want to make sure that each teacher is passing on the trunk with all materials intact.
Home schools - Home school teachers may also reserve the trunks, but are restricted to using the trunks during December and the first of January, during the summer months, and unbooked periods. The reason for this is numbers. We can't justify sending a trunk to a home school with three students when a classroom of 30 students can’t get it. We will also release a trunk to a home school if the trunk hasn’t been booked for the three-week period. Send in the reservation form specifying the trunk and put “waiting list” on the line for dates.
The Life and Times of the First Tennesseans
Daily Life on the Tennessee Frontier
Cherokee in Tennessee: Their Life, Culture, and Removal
The Age of Jackson and Tennessee's Legendary Leaders
The Life of a Civil War Soldier
The Lives of Three Tennessee Slaves and Their Journey Towards Freedom
Understanding Women's Suffrage: Tennessee's Perfect 36
Transforming America: Tennessee on the World War II Homefront
The Modern Movement for Civil Rights in Tennessee
Tennessee: Its Land & People
With funding in part from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this curriculum guide do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.