Traveling Artifact Trunks
The National WWII Museum has launched Operation Footlocker, providing schools across the country with unique hands-on opportunities to explore the history and lessons of WWII by exploring WWII artifacts. These traveling trunks are designed to supplement WWII education in the classroom.
Each footlocker comes loaded with about 15 actual artifacts from WWII (not reproductions!). Of course, no weapons or ammunition are included. But there are ration books, V-mail letters, dog tags, sand from the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima, wartime magazines, a high school yearbook from the early 1940s, and many other artifacts, both commonplace and surprising. Footlockers come complete with white cotton gloves for handling the artifacts and a teacher’s manual that describes each object and contains directions for conducting artifact “reading” sessions.
Because of the fragile nature of some artifacts, we recommend the program for grades 5-12 and beyond. Turn your students into history detectives as they ponder the origins and uses of these real pieces of WWII history!
If needed, have your finance officer assign a vendor number to the Museum before your request. We are happy to provide any required information.
Footlockers will be shipped via UPS and will include a prepaid return shipping label.
Footlockers can be kept at your school for one week.
To Reserve a Footlocker:
Contact Walt Burgoyne at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (504) 528-1944 x333. Have the dates you want your footlocker in mind.
"My Honors American History students were excited about this 'hands-on' way to learn about history. I copied artifact-specific pages from the teacher's manual, then divided the students into teams of two. Each student was given one artifact and its page. I also copied one Inquiry Question page for each student to be used as a worksheet. One student asked the Inquiry Questions from the teacher manual, while the other answered while exploring the artifact and reading about it."
- Jamie S., Metairie, LA
"I used it with our History Mystery Center in our WWII unit. Students wrote guesses of what items they thought would be in the trunk. The most interesting and surprising items were the gas mask, sand from beaches, personal effects bag, the dog tag, steel penny, and the car tag."
- Wanda A., Gulfport, MS
"We had a WWII veteran come speak to us and then broke into groups and discussed each item using the questions provided in the teacher’s manual. It was an extremely valuable addition to our WWII unit of study. Thank you!!! What wonderful memories our students now have because of this footlocker."
- Autumn H., Colton, CA
Student Travel – WWII Educational Tours
High school and college students, learn the leadership principles that helped win WWII on a trip to France or during a weeklong residential program in New Orleans. College credit is available, and space is limited.
See You Next Year! HS Yearbooks from WWII
Collected from across the United States, the words and pictures of these yearbooks present a new opportunity to experience the many challenges, setbacks and triumphs of the war through the eyes of America’s youth.
The Victory Gardens of WWII
Visit the Classroom Victory Garden Project website to learn about food production during WWII, find lesson plans and activities for elementary students, get tips for starting your own garden and try out simple Victory Garden recipes!
The Science and Technology of WWII
Visit our new interactive website to learn about wartime technical and scientific advances that forever changed our world. Incorporates STEM principles to use in the classroom.
Kids Corner: Fun and Games!
Make your own propaganda posters, test your memory, solve puzzles and more! Learn about World War II and have fun at the same time.