NEGAUNEE- Negaunee fourth graders learned about the lumber and mining industries when they took a field trip the the Michigan Iron Industry Museum Tuesday.

The fourth grade curriculum at Lakeview Elementary in Negaunee includes the history of the mining and lumber industries and how they affected the growth of Michigan, said Karie Belanger, a fourth grade teacher at Lakeview. As a way to learn about the history of these industries the students did a scavenger hunt worksheet at the Michigan Iron Industry Museum.

“It asks them questions and forces them to go through all parts of the museum to find these things,” Belanger said. “So it’s them learning to use their resources, read for information and not only use the writing but the pictures and artifacts themselves to answer the questions.”

The students walked around the museum with a partner looking for the answer to the questions on their worksheet. An example of a question was what was the biggest ship on Lake Superior. The answer was the Superlaker. Belanger said she thinks that going to the museum makes what the students have learned in the classroom real for them.

“We learn about it in class and we speak to them about it and even have people come in and talk to them about the lumber and mining industries,” she said. “But once we get here and they get to see the artifacts and they get to see more photographs they realize that it’s real and it’s just outside our classroom.”

According to Belanger, the students learn about the mining and lumber industries in class because it’s what’s responsible for developing the Upper Peninsula.

“It teaches them that we’re all here today because of the mining and lumber industry That’s why our area was developed.”

Fourth grade teacher Mike O’Donnell said he like the Iron Industry Museum as a way for the students to learn more because of the hands on activities.

“I think it helps them apply what we’ve been learning about in the books and magazines about the various things we learned about mining and our heritage,” he said. “It helps them see these things first hand. There’s a lot of hands on activities and it’s a great way to apply everything we’ve learned so far together and tie it into our unit with the hands on experience.”

The hands on experiences were the best part for fourth graders Monica Bartle, 9, and Emma Krause, 9. Bartle said she learned that the underground phone was installed in 1880.

“I liked going in the tunnel because I’ve never really been in a tunnel like that and it was fun,” Bartle said.

The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is opened during it’s off season Monday through Friday and the first Saturday of every month from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information about the museum call 475-7857.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is