Building Colorado: Communities


Building Colorado: Communities

An in-school program for 3rd grade

[click here for 4th grade, “Cities”]

“Building Colorado: Communities” is built around Colorado State 3rd grade content standards, focusing on short and long-term financial goals that must be met through trading and hopefully surviving historic events that impacted Colorado communities. Students are divided into cultural communities and must make individual decisions to progress while also taking the rest of their group into consideration. We cover economics, geography, and history with a real emphasis on Colorado’s people to encourage empathy for historic and present-day communities.

The Building Colorado classroom activity won the Caroline Bancroft History Award from History Colorado in 2020.

Here’s why teachers and students love Building Colorado: Communities

  • Fast-paced trading game
  • Led by museum staff
  • 90 minutes long
  • Fulfills history and economics standards
Number of classes  Price
1 classroom $130
2 classrooms $235
Each additional $80

A 20% discount is available for Title 1 schools.

Mileage compensation will be applied at the current (2022) IRS rate of $.585 /mile.


We are no longer booking for the 2021-2022 school year due to a full calendar. Thank you for the support and interest over the last year! It has been amazing to get back into classrooms. Reservations will open for the 2022-2023 school year in August. Please contact if you have questions about the Building Colorado programs.

Booking & Payment Policy

  • All teachers interested in the Building Colorado: Cities 3rd Grade outreach program should complete the registration form at Once your inquiry is received, you will be contacted by a staff member to finalize your booking for your classroom(s).
  • A 25% non-refundable deposit is required within 30 days of receiving your invoice to hold your reservation.
  • Final payment is due 30 days prior to your scheduled program.
  • If a program is cancelled less than 30 days prior to your scheduled program, the museum will refund the final payment minus the 25% deposit. The museum will work with you to reschedule if there are open options on our outreach calendar for the current school year.
  • If a program is cancelled due to inclement weather, the museum will work with the school to reschedule to another open date on our outreach calendar for the current school year.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the class?

The classroom session lasts 90 minutes. Pre- and post-visit lessons are also included with the fee which require more time outside of the session.

How does this relate to what I’m teaching?

Building Colorado is an immersive game that moves students through a timeline of historic events. Topics include westward expansion, the Gold Rush, reservations and how communities interacted and traded with each other throughout Colorado’s history. Students must work individually while keeping their other community members in mind. Additionally, they make economic decisions and trade resources to meet short- and long-term goals.

What do you need from the teacher?

Building Colorado is fully facilitated by a Golden History Museum staff member. Teachers, however, are asked to enjoy the game along with their students. This program runs much better with help from the teacher who gets to act as the “banker.” The program needs the classroom projector and computer. Also, before the program begins, teachers need to divide students into six groups, preferably around table groups as they will need working surfaces.

What if the weather turns bad on the scheduled day?

For the safety of our instructors, Golden History Museum & Park reserves the right to cancel or reschedule Building Colorado programs for inclement weather including but not limited to snow, wind, rain or extreme temperatures. The Education Department actively tracks weather forecasts and will make judgements after considering road conditions, the distance our instructors must travel and ultimately, school district decisions.  

The museum hopes to make an informed decision 24 hours before the program begins, however, depending on the severity of the weather, a decision may need to be made the morning of the scheduled visit. If the need arises, the Education Department will work with the booking teacher to reschedule the program as quickly as possible.

Photos: Jim Rabiolo

The students were engaged at all times. They really enjoyed the game…We felt it was a great way to sneak learning in with an engaging game.

3rd grade teacher, Lois Lenki Elementary

I loved how hands on this game was. It was very interactive and engaging. My students enjoyed trading with one another, communicating with their community, and learning a time period in Colorado’s history. I can’t wait for this next year!

3rd grade teacher, Lois Lenki Elementary