Library Digital Content Access


Created By: Kay Grabow, Thomas Paine Elementary School (Urbana, IL)
Grade Level: 4th
Content Area: Social Studies
Database Integration: Students will access the TDC database to find information and illustrations of French voyageurs and French settlers for costume replication, for understanding the purpose and flavor of the Rendezvous, for general information about the fur trade and Rendezvous, and for learning appropriate music.

Illinois Learning Standards Achieved

Standard Achieved

Activity that Meets this Standard

15.D.1a: Demonstrate the benefits of simple voluntary exchanges.

16.A.2c: Ask questions and seek answers by collecting and analyzing data from historic documents, images, and other literary and nonliterary sources from historical sources.

16.E.2c(US): Describe environmental factors that influenced the development of transportation and trade in Illinois.

Students will research elements of a Rendezvous of French traders and recreate the atmosphere of a Rendezvous in the classroom, inviting another class to be participants in the event.


Illinois history textbook such as The Illinois Adventure (Gibbs-Smith, 2001); trade books which describe the French settlement of Illinois; access to computers for use of TDC database; tape; canoe paddles; boxes to be filled with objects to the weight of 90 pounds; examples of fox, bear, otter, wolf and beaver fur; beaver trap; costume components; camera; food and drink for refreshments; computer with CD burner; CD player; words and music for voyageur songs; video camera, carnival-type plastic beads; paper tickets to represent furs to be traded.


  1. Students will use textbook and TDC database to research the Rendezvous, an event from the time of the French settlement of Illinois, where fur trappers, traders, voyageurs and Indians met to trade or sell furs for needed items and to have a great party with refreshments, contests, dancing, and storytelling.
  2. Students will set up the classroom and adjoining hallway as a Rendezvous with one teaching station and 5 bartering stations for students from another 4th grade class to visit.
  3. Students from the other class will come and be taught five facts about the beaver. When they demonstrate their successful learning of the facts, based on a paper/pencil quiz, they will be given 5 tickets representing beaver furs which they may use to barter for admission to various activities in the Rendezvous. There are more than 5 activities, so the visiting students will have to choose the five they want to participate in.


Students will be given a summary of researched material for each of the stations of the Rendezvous. They must be able to answer orally questions asked by the teacher about the material from stations. Students will choose a work station for the Rendezvous based on their successful answering of questions.