History Playing Card Game

Teachers – try a new educational experience:


For first time, it’s the Bisbee story: JUST FOR KIDS!

The Bisbee History Playing Card Game leads kids to explore and comprehend the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum exhibits. Each floor of the museum has it’s own deck of 26, oversized cards.

What grades can use the cards? Like the museum, Bisbee History Cards have something for everyone. Simple and visual enough for elementary grades 3-5, they’ll also inspire middle school grades 6-8, and can even challenge teens – as each age level brings their own understanding and mastery to the deck.

Why two decks? Each deck of Bisbee History Playing Cards allows a virtual trip through one of the museum exhibits: Urban Outpost on the Frontier, with a focus on Arizona’s social history, or Digging In, our mining and mineral exhibit.

The back side of each Bisbee History Card is an activity on the same theme, to be completed back in class. Back-In-Class activities integrate S.T.E.A.M. skills (Science Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) with history.

We think you’ll agree: the Bisbee History Playing Cards inspire a joy of learning about Bisbee and Arizona copper mining – and develops a deeper sense-of-place for where we live.


The Urban Outpost on the Frontier deck of cards is a guide to our downstairs exhibit. Urban Outpost is a trip back in time, beginning when mineral wealth was first discovered in the Mule Mountains, at the dawn of the age of electricity. Bisbee is ‘the town that copper built’, and Urban Outpost illuminates its early years, from prospecting and the first mines to the coming of the railroad, immigration, and labor unions – as this remote “Wild West’ outpost transformed into a vibrant metropolis. Urban Outpost highlights copper’s role in the Industrial Revolution and Arizona Statehood, and the history cards make it easy to understand it all – from the 1870’s thru WW1.

These cards are best suited for upper elementary grades 3-5 and middle school 6-8+. Urban Outpost is aligned with AZ K-12 learning standards for history: Arizona Studies and the 5 C’s, Civics, Economics, Immigration Demographics/Diversity, and U.S. Studies through Industrialization – all while integrating S.T.E.A.M. activities.

The Digging In deck of cards is a guide to our upstairs, Smithsonian-designed mining and mineral exhibit.  Digging In offers a solid foundation for understanding copper mining in Arizona. As you wind your way through underground crystal ‘caves’, you’ll see the best of Bisbee’s mineral treasures.

Digging In illustrates a full century of Bisbee mining culture, engineering and technology, as well as the importance of copper to modern life. These history cards make it easy to grasp how copper mining evolved to meet economic and geologic challenges: from 1880’s underground hand-drilling through 1920’s mechanization, the open-pit mining of the 1970’s, and today’s electro-chemical copper extraction.

Best suited for grades 4 through 9+, these history cards tie-in a ton of science, engineering, math, and technology.  Digging-In is aligned with Arizona K-12 learning standards for Physical/Earth Science, Geology, Engineering to Solve Problems,  Arizona’s Natural Resources, and of course, Arizona Studies and the “5 C’s.”

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