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Instructional Resources

Exploring Nebraska

A Unique Educational Resource to Learn About the State

When you think Nebraska, you think of the crack of a bat at the College World Series or the roar of “Go Big Red” at a Cornhuskers game. Or you may be transported to the rain forest of the world-renowned Henry Doorly Zoo or the majestic natural spire of Chimney Rock. But did you know that Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show originated in Nebraska, that aviator Charles Lindburgh took his first flying lesson here and that Nebraska is home to the largest hand-planted forest in the U.S.?

If you would like to learn more about this great state, Hildegard Center for the Arts is offering a wonderful guide to use in the exploration of “everything Nebraska”: history, culture, landmarks, natural resources, economy, geography and people. HCFA and its project partners, the Nebraska Tourism Commission and the Nebraska State Historical Society, have expanded on the images and narratives included in the Sesquicentennial Traveling Photo Exhibit: “Bridges—Sharing our Past to Enrich the Future” to create an outstanding instructional resource featuring all 93 Nebraska counties. With guidance from Harris Payne, Nebraska Department of Education Social Studies Program Director, and Paul Hunt, adjunct geography professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, “Exploring Nebraska” includes:

  • Photo images from each of 93 Nebraska’s counties with accompanying narrative
  • Applicable Nebraska Social Studies Standards for fourth grade elementary students
  • A Story Map that allows teachers and students to access the instructional resources of a county via a virtual Nebraska map
  • “Quick Facts” about each county
  • Discussion points for each county to promote creative thinking
  • Additional resources such as links, suggested books and possible art projects

Although “Exploring Nebraska” is ideal for use in teaching about Nebraska in fourth grade curriculum, this resource can be used by all ages—from senior citizens in retirement communities to children in home-schooling families and everyone in between. The resource can also be used by history buffs as well as an inspiration for writers and those who enjoy the Arts and culture.

A project such as this requires many hands. Special thanks go out to those who have given their time and expertise to make this resource available to the public: Donna Williams—Project Chair, Rita Kean, Cathy Harrington, Kim Einspahr and Anne Woita (Hildegard Center for the Arts); Bob Puschendorf and Sharon Kennedy (Nebraska State Historical Society); Harris Payne (State Department of Education); Paul Hunt (University of Nebraska at Omaha) and Ann Bilesbach.

This resource is supported in part by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and the following Statewide Sponsors: The Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission; Nebraska Tourism Commission; Johnson Hardware Company, the Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation; and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Adams County

Duncan Field

Antelope County

Neligh Mill Bridge

Arthur County

Pilgrim Holiness Church

Banner County

Sunflower Fields

Blaine County


Boone County

St. Anthony’s Catholic Church

Box Butte County


Boyd County

John Weeder’s Mailbox

Brown County

Main Street

Buffalo County

Kearney Traffic Motion

Burt County

Frosty Morning in February

Butler County

Love Long Ago

Cass County

Little Barn in the Big Woods

Cedar County

Schützenfest, Bow Valley NE

Chase County

Champion Mill

Cherry County

Rock School

Cheyenne County

Blacksmith Shop

Clay County

Looking for Thomas

Colfax County

Monastery on the Hill: Christ the King Priory Chapel

Cuming County

Neihardt’s Study and Sacred Hoop Prayer Garden

Custer County

Dowse Sod House

Dakota County

The O’Conner House

Dawes County

Crow Butte

Dawson County

Willow Island Road

Deuel County

Phelps Hotel

Dixon County

Towers in Time

Dodge County

Yankee Peddler

Douglas County


Dundy County

Dundy County Courthouse

Fillmore County

Stockholm Church

Franklin County

Old Planter

Frontier County

HWY 23 Maintenance Erosion Construction

Furnas County

Norwegian Church

Gage County

Palmer-Epard Cabin, Winter

Garden County

Sod House and Pioneer Woman

Garfield County

Reverse Fountain on Calamus Reservoir

Gosper County

Nebraska Wildflowers

Grant County

Sandhills Sunrise

Greeley County

Spalding Dam

Hall County

Dare to Dream

Hamilton County

Beautiful Winter Day

Harlan County

A Living Bridge

Hayes County

Grandma McKillip’s House

Hitchcock County

Trenton Harvest Festival

Holt County

The Good Sheperd in O’Neill

Hooker County

The Eclipse Church

Howard County

The Persevering Polish Community from Poznan, Poland

Jefferson County

A Pioneer’s Final Resting Place

Johnson County


Kearney County

Salem Swedish Methodist Episcopal

Keith County

I-80 Bicentennial Sculpture: Up & Over

Keya Paha County

Ghost Town

Kimball County

Oliver Reservoir

Knox County

Verdel Jain

Lancaster County

The Watcher

Lincoln County

Fort McPherson National Cemetery Headquarters

Logan County

Grandad & Kadee

Loup County

The Grand Ole Pavillion Hotel

Madison County


McPherson County

The Ogallala Aquifer

Merrick County

Dark Island

Morrill County

Chimney Rock

Nance County

Model Classroom

Nemaha County

The Library in the Spring

Nuckolls County

Rural Renaissance

Otoe County

Drizzly Arbor Lodge Evening

Pawnee County

Governor David Butler’s Home

Perkins County

After the Storm

Phelps County

Colors in the Evening

Pierce County

WPA Contributions, Plainview City Park

Platte County

St. Mary of the Angels

Polk County

Morrill Organ

Red Willow County

Golden Grain

Richardson County

Way Side Barn

Rock County

A Vintage Landmark

Saline County

1887 Bank

Sarpy County

Portal School

Saunders County


Scotts Bluff County

Scottsbluff Wagon Train

Seward County

Lou and Mary Anne’s

Sheridan County

Pondering a Plan

Sherman County

Many Miles

Sioux County

Church of Immaculate Conception

Stanton County

Storz Brewing Company Barrel House

Thayer County

1885 Lumberyard, a Necessity for Growth

Thomas County

“Move ’em Out”

Thurston County

Burning Bush

Valley County

Arcadia Congregational Church and a Nebraska Historical Marker

Washington County

The Laundress’ Taking a Break

Wayne County

Wayne County Courthouse and Veterans Memorial

Webster County

Starke Round Barn

Wheeler County

Headquarters Ranch House

York County

Sunset at Wessels Farm

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