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  • National Museum of the American Sailor

Traveling Sea Chests

Bring the museum to your classroom with the Traveling Sea Chest program!

Image of the National Museum of the American Sailor's Civil War Traveling Sea Chest, available to educators. 

The Traveling Sea Chest program offers a hands-on learning opportunity that teachers can integrate into their own curriculum. Each Sea Chest is filled with artifacts and reproduction items, photographs, and documents. A teacher’s guide is also included with suggested lesson plans, historical fact sheets, and brief descriptions of each object.

All Sea Chests are geared toward students in grades 4-6. The lesson plan materials align with Illinois State Learning Standards.



How to Request a Sea Chest

To reserve a Traveling Sea Chest, please complete and return a completed Sea Chest Request Form. Forms should be submitted to

  • Sea Chests may be checked out one at a time and kept for up to two weeks.
  • Sea Chests must be picked up from and returned to the National Museum of the American Sailor during the museum’s operating hours (Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM).

Questions? Contact the museum’s education department at or (847) 688-5134 x4.

Download and complete the request form. The museum's education department will be in touch to confirm your reservation.



Available Sea Chests

Revolutionary War

The United States Navy traces its origins back to the beginning of the American Revolution when a fledgling Continental Navy took on the most powerful Navy in the world. The first American sailors created the Navy from the ground up, fighting scrappy battles, making their own traditions, and telling their own stories. The Revolutionary War Sea Chest introduces students to the Age of Sail Navy through a variety of reproduction artifacts, images, documents, and songs. 


Civil War

Did you know that two American navies played important roles during the American Civil War? The Union Navy was a key element of President Lincoln's Anaconda Plan. Meanwhile the Confederate Navy utilized modern technologies to push the naval warfare to new limits. With the Civil War Sea Chest, students discover a new element of Civil War history, read letters from sailors who were there, and get hands on with tools of early sailors. 


World War I

Coming soon!

Published: Wed Nov 24 15:28:54 EST 2021