Group Programs

Traveling Rucksack Program


How to register:

  • Available Wednesdays from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Scheduling blocks from 50 to 90 minutes
  • Must be located within a 15-mile radius of the Museum

Request to bring the Traveling Rucksack Program to your school.

Recommended for Grades 4-12.

Goal: Learn how the Soldier’s Load items helped Soldiers fight, sleep, eat, and march during the Revolutionary War.

Program Description:
The Traveling Rucksack Program is an outreach program used to promote life as a Soldier as well as history, diversity, and innovation. The program brings artifacts to the classroom and uses the Jigsaw method to engage students in collaborative, hands-on, and higher-level thinking skills through primary sources.

The Colonies’ revolt against Great Britain started without an established Army or Nation. Somehow, General George Washington and the Continental Congress had to figure out how to defeat the strongest nation in the world. With inexperienced Soldiers and limited resources, General Washington realized that diverse Soldiers were the key to victory. Through many trials and failures, the Continental Congress would eventually provide the essential items needed to help Soldiers fight, sleep, eat, and march through the rough terrain and changing weather to gain independence. The Rucksack Program investigates these Soldier Load items to understand better how Soldiers fought and lived during the war.

Objective: At the end of this lesson students, will be able to:

  • Describe what Soldier Load items look like and feel like.
  • Demonstrate how Soldiers carried load items in a variety of scenarios.
  • Understand the role diversity played in helping the Army succeed.

Guiding Questions:
Why is the Soldiers Load important when completing an Army mission?

Curriculum Connections

Common Core Standards


Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it


Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

History and Social Science Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools

  • Virginia Studies
    • Skills VS The student will apply history and social science skills to the content by
      • analyzing and interpreting information sources, including but not limited to artifacts, primary and secondary sources, charts, graphs, and diagrams.
  • United States History to 1865
    • USI.6 The student will apply history and social science skills to explain the American Revolution by
      • examining the causes, course, and consequences of key events and battles of the era.
  • Virginia and United States History
    • VUS.5 The student will apply history and social science skills to understand the issues and events leading to and during the revolutionary period by
      • describing efforts by individuals and groups to mobilize support for the American Revolution, including the Minutemen, the Sons of Liberty, the First and Second Continental Congresses, and the Committees of Correspondence.

Request to bring the Traveling Rucksack Program to your school.