6th Grade Tour at the Hackett House in Tempe

The purpose of the information in this packet is to assist you in preparing your students for the tour of the Hackett House where we will share with them what is not only in their “own backyard,” but about Tempe’s eleven Sister Cities around the world. The tour consists of a brief history of the Hackett House building, historical tidbits of Tempe, and an introduction to the Tempe Sister Cities of Skopje, North Macedonia; Regensburg, Germany; Lower Hutt, New Zealand; Beaulieu Sur Mer, France; Carlow, Ireland; Zhenjiang, China; Timbuktu, Mali; Cuenca, Ecuador; Cusco, Peru; and Trollhattan, Sweden, and Agra, India.

Use this packet to glean as much information as you wish to prepare your students for the field trip and to continue their understanding of our world back in your classroom.

During the tour each student will receive a booklet describing the program. They will also receive tokens (souvenirs) to remind them of the countries discussed. For example, the students receive a small packet of beads and string to represent trading in Timbuktu. We are confident that these tokens will evoke dialogue with their families and classmates regarding this experience.

The School Tour Program is structured to include Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions to help students make important connections:

Enduring Understandings that will be addressed during the tour:

  • Culture shapes how we see ourselves, others, and the world.
  • The desire to expand trade led to the creation of trade routes throughout the world.
  • The present is influenced by the past.
  • Some aspects of cultures change while others maintain continuity.

Essential Questions that will be addressed during the tour:

  • Why is it important to understand different cultures?
  • How are we transformed by the study of cultures?
  • What are similarities and differences of the cities and countries?
  • How are we connected to people in other countries?
  • How did water ways impact settlement?

Each Country/Sister City is presented in the following 4 areas and incorporates the 6th Grade Arizona History and Social Science Standards.

  • Location/Geography (6.G1.1, 6.G2.1, 6.G3.2, 6.G4.1)
  • Historical Perspectives (6.SP1.1, 6.SP1.3, 6.SP2.1, 6.C4.1)
  • Cultural Connections (6.SP1.2, 6.SP1.3, 6.H1.2, 6.H3.2)
  • Economics/Trade (6.E3.2, 6.E5.1, 6.G3.1, 6.G3.2, 6.H1.2)

We are located at 95 W. 4th Street in downtown Tempe. The phone number for the Hackett House is 480-350-8181. To access our location: we are north of 5th Street on Maple. There is a parking garage on the west side of the street and the Hackett House is on the east side.

View a map

Tour: Generally 9:30-11:30 am (We can adapt times with enough notice)

  • Students will begin in one of 5 areas at our location. Approximately every 15 minutes throughout the tour, the groups of students rotate from room to room where a volunteer tour guide explains the items on display and presents a brief lesson about each of the Sister Cities. The students rotate clockwise to the next room until all the rooms and patio have been visited. The first and last rotations are up to 10 minutes longer giving time for written reflections of their learning. As the tour concludes the students come together as one group, have refreshments, and discuss some of the things they have learned during the tour.
  • The Hackett House provides refreshments of lemonade and a snack. However, if the teachers prefer, the students may bring a sack lunch and eat on the patio with the bus arriving no later than 12:00 am.
  • Restrooms are available.
  • Students are encouraged to ask questions during the tour. Cameras are permitted This is an historic house and needs gentle loving care. Many artifacts may be handled; the tour guides will let the students touch when it is possible.
  • We will exit students through our gift shop. We do not allow students to wander or purchase items at this time, but rather encourage them to come back and shop with their parents. We do want them to see the inside of the House built in 1888 by William Hilge as Tempe’s first bakery. They will see that the original bakery shelves and counter are still present.
  • We welcome the students and hope they have an enjoyable time with us at the Hackett House. If there are any questions you may need answered before, during or after the tour, please contact JoAnn Hopper, Education Director at 480-241-6019 or by email at jhopper0508@gmail.com.

SCHOOL TOUR INFORMATION (to be used in preparation for the trip and/or follow-up in the classroom:

If you have ONE class period to prepare your students, do the following:

  1. What is the Tempe Sister City Organization:
    This group of citizens organizes activities between Tempe and each of our “sister” cities. These people are all volunteers and anyone is welcome to participate. Each summer high school students from Tempe are chosen to travel to some of Tempe’s sister cities. The students spend five weeks with a family there and learn about the city, the people, and their culture. Then they host their new sister or brother here in Tempe. Any Tempe students may apply for this program during his/her junior year in high school.Activities we bring to Tempe include the Student Exchange Program, Professional Exchange Program, Educator Exchange Program, Humanitarian Programs, Oktoberfest, Youth Group, Hackett House Gift Shoppe and Gathering Place, Dinner Party Cooking Classes, Tea Parties, Passport to the World for Children, Geography Bee, Young Artist Program, and hosting international visitors. Located in Kiwanis Park is the Tempe Sister City Gardens.
  2. What is a Sister City:
    The idea of linking an American city with another city somewhere in the world was first proclaimed by the President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1956. President Eisenhower wanted the “common” people of two cities to exchange ideas, and learn about each other’s countries and cultures and thus become friends. He felt world peace would have a better chance if people were friends and understood each other. He established an organization called Sister Cities International – the slogan is “Bringing the World Together, One Friendship at a Time”.Tempe first decided to join this program in 1971 and became a sister city to Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia. This was a very important decision. Skopje, Macedonia was then part of Yugoslavia, part of the Eastern European block of nations and located behind the “Iron Curtain.” After Tempe and Skopje formed their sister city association, which is still active and successful today, other associations between American and Eastern European nations followed. Some were even formed between American cities and cities in the Soviet Union. All across America it is recognized that Tempe led the way.Partnering with Tempe, Arizona are the countries of Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia, Regensburg, Germany, Lower Hutt, New Zealand, Zhenjiang, China, Timbuktu, Mali, Beaulieu Sur Mer, France, Carlow, Ireland, Cuenca, Ecuador, Cusco, Peru, Trollhattan, Sweden, and Agra City, India.
  3. Locate the Sister Cities on a world map
  4. Present Hackett House Information

If you have MORE time, enhance your students’ experience with the following and/or begin the Post Tour Activities.

Locate the nearest waterways and other physical features of the Tempe Sister Cities on a map.


  • Construct a map which shows important physical and human features of the Tempe Sister Cities (e.g. significant waterways, mountain ranges, cities, countries)
  • Based on the objectives learned, discuss ways geographic features and conditions influenced settlement in various locations such as the Tempe Sister Cities (e.g. waterways)
  • Discuss factors that cause regions and places to change.

Do you recall? PASC (Pick a Sister City):

Reflect and respond to one or more of the following:

  • Analyze how waterways impacted settlement? LIVESCIENCE
  • Analyze the effects of settlement patterns.
  • Why is it important to understand different cultures?
  • How are we transformed by the study of cultures?
  • Choose two cities. What are the similarities and differences?
  • How are we (in Tempe) connected to people in other countries?
  • Apply your knowledge of Tempe’s history using this link, Tempe to compare it with one of our sister cities.

We hope you and your students enjoy your journey around the world in your own backyard!