A. Activity components:
1. Discuss Plants on the Frontier: Review the common plants found on the frontier. Review those that are common still today. Discuss how students could go home and find several in their own neighborhood! Many of these plants were problem solvers for great dilemmas on the frontier.
a. Ask students to read “Plants on the Frontier” handout and “Plants on the Frontier: Story and Song” handout and then find more information on frontier plants.
b. Discuss: food plants including walnut, ribwort, and violet leaves.
c. Discuss: possibly poisonous plants and often misidentified plants including daisy flea bane, Queen Ann’s lace, and Virginia creeper.
d. Discuss: plants that were useful medicinally or could be used as a pot herb including sassafras, raspberry, and the paw paw tree.
e. Require students to complete the “Plants on the Frontier” worksheet.
2. Observe the daily life of Women on the Frontier:
a. View Video Clips:
b. Compare the daily activities of women on the frontier to similar activities preformed today. How do these differ? Discuss the difficulties pioneer women had to endure to complete these daily activities.
- Most items of clothing on the frontier had to be hand made! There are many steps to making clothing so this was no easy task.
- For wool clothing, a sheep had to be sheared and the wool had to be hand carded before it could be spun. Spinning the wool, turns it into thread that can be knitted, crocheted, or woven.
c. Require students to complete the “Life on the Frontier vs. Life Today” worksheet.
3. Study contributions frontier women had on Abraham Lincoln and his humble beginnings on the frontier. (pass out "Women on the Frontier Stories")
a. Ask students to review the “Women on Frontier Stories” handout. Students can research these women and others online for more information.
b. Require students to complete the “Who am I?” worksheet.
4. Discuss the lack of information on women in the frontier.
Were they overlooked in the pages of history?
After viewing the video clips, it’s easy to see that women were anything but invisible. Because of women, frontier families were fed, clothed, entertained and received medical treatment.
Hopefully today you’ve come to understand a bit more about the importance of women on the Kentucky frontier.
From this point forward when you hear about the life of frontiersmen, you can remember and inquire about the input of women. This can apply to any point in our history!
(Encourage students to play Question/Answer Power Point game on Abraham Lincoln and Women on the Frontier.)
This program provides much needed insight into the roles of women throughout history. For so many years and still today, women are overlooked both in textbooks and at historic sites if for no other reason than because women were generally not the writers of history. The most commonly stated comments at this program included “I never knew women worked so hard!”, or “Frontier women worked harder than men!” The most commonly stated phrases were phrases of admiration and awe at what our foremothers had accomplished.