In order to have the best possible experience, plan to allow 1 - 1 1/2 hours for inside the Interpretive Center and 1 - 2 hours for walking the site and climbing Monks Mound. Dress for the weather.
No food or drink may be brought into the Interpretive Center. There is a first-come first-serve picnic area approximately 1/4 mile west of the Interpretive Center where you may have box lunches delivered.
Children will understand more if they learn these words before the visit.
- Have one adult for every five to seven children.
- These adults should be with the children as they visit the exhibit areas and Museum Shop.
- Ask the chaperons to help the children interpret the exhibits.
- It is helpful if the groups visit the exhibits on a rotating basis so no one area becomes overcrowded.
- No writing materials (pens, pencils, markers or crayons) may be used in the Interpretive Center.
We recommend several items to be used as teacher reference material before or after your field trip.
- A 32-page children's activity book, Journey to Cahokia, details a young Indian boy's first visit to ancient Cahokia and includes classroom activities and a glossary.
- The general audience book, City of the Sun, provides a good source of current information known about the site.
- Cahokia Mounds - Ancient Metropolis - the multi-award winning hour-long video is an excellent teaching aid. This video is available for purchase or two-week rental from the Museum Shop. Note: Ancient Metropolis is different from the "Orientation Show" (17 min.) shown in the theater.
- Also available is a guidebook for outside walking tours. Mail order is available on this website. For gift items you may wish to pre-order and pick up the day of your visit.
It is highly recommended that teachers engage in pre- and culminating activities in the classroom such as:
- Art projects
- Essay writing (artifacts, uses of animals, tools, etc.)
- Constructing maps showing trade between the Mississippians and other cultures.
- Books and pamphlets are available in the Museum Gift Shop with ideas for many projects that can be constructed in the classroom.