Wornall Majors House Museums

Go West! Virtual Field Day

Go West! Field Day was originally scheduled for Friday, April 24. Due to COVID-19 concerns, we are turning Field Day into a virtual field trip that teachers can use in their lesson planing. Our virtual field day incorporates skilled reenactors, historic experts and virtual activities to immerse students in the historic frontier.

Man with saddle

What will students see and do?
Students at Go West! Field Day will have both hands-on and listening experiences. Classrooms will rotate through several different stations – each with a unique story to tell about the American frontier. Students will participate in the following activities & presentations, developed by museum professionals and skilled presenters:

  • Life of Wagonmaster Samuel Poteet (Introduction/Presentation)
  • Native American Storytelling (Presentation)
  • Load the Wagon (Hands-on Activity)
  • Alexander Majors House Tour (Walking Tour)
  • Pan for Gold (Hands-on Activity)
  • Frontier Freighter Encampment (Reenactment/Interactive Presentation)
Civil War tents Why Field Day instead of a standard field trip?
Go West! Field Day is like a field trip x 10! While we do often have reenactors at standard field trips, Go West! Field Day will be special in the sheer concentration of reenactors and activities available to students, giving students an experience that will truly transport them back in time. The cost of Go West! Field Day is comparable to a normal field trip at the Majors House, and actually less expensive in some cases.
Saddles Why the Majors House?
Alexander Majors built his house in 1856 as the headquarters for his massive freighting firm Russell, Majors & Waddell. His business spurred the growth of early Kansas City – his business’s demand for cattle was key to the early development of the Kansas City stockyards! Majors would later go on to become co-founder of the famed Pony Express. His story touches on many elements of westward expansion: transportation and communication, slavery and freedom on the frontier, and contact with Native American tribes in the West.
Panning for Gold

How does this fit into my curriculum?
Students will learn the challenges and triumphs of life on the frontier while honing their social studies and math skills. According to the History Relevance campaign, “History teaches vital skills. Historical thinking requires critical approaches to evidence and argument and develops contextual understanding and historical perspective, encouraging meaningful engagement with concepts like continuity, change, and causation, and the ability to interpret and communicate complex ideas clearly and coherently.”

In particular, our hands-on “Load the Wagon” and “Panning for Gold” activities incorporate teamwork, social sciences and simple math into fun, hands-on experience that engage critical thinking and historic immersion.

Field Day is particularly appropriate for meeting fourth and fifth grade social studies expectations, but all ages are welcome and will have an enjoyable learning experience.

Woman at campfire

How does it work and how do I sign up?
Each school should expect to spend approximately two hours on site. Cost is $5/student and free for parents/chaperones. Schools within the Kansas City, Missouri School District can attend for FREE.

To book your school or classroom, email programs@wornallmajors.org or call 816-444-1858. If sending an email, please include your students’ grade, class size, and if you prefer a morning or afternoon field trip. We will walk you through any questions you may have. You will receive an informational sheet with detailed logistics and expectations after registration. Note: If your group size is less than 100, your school may be combined with another school for certain presentations.

Wornall/Majors House Museums is sponsoring this program in partnership with the Missouri Humanities Council and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Additional funding provided by the R.A. Long Foundation.

Wornall Majors House Museums
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The John Wornall House

6115 Wornall Road
Kansas City, MO. 64113


The Alexander Majors House & Barn

8201 State Line Road
Kansas City, MO. 64114


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Photo Credits: Jeri Adams, Sarah Bader-King, John Browning, and Bruce Mathews