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Homestead Virtual Ranger Online Activity

Gold Badge, Virtual Ranger across the top
Homestead Virtual Ranger Badge

NPS Photo

Junior Rangers are special people who are dedicated to their National Parks. Their mission is to explore, learn, and protect, and to have fun while doing it!

While you can earn your Junior Ranger badge on your visit to Homestead National Monument of America, we have also put together an opportunity for you to become a Homestead National Monument Virtual Ranger.

Using the pages of our website, you can complete the quiz below to earn your Virtual Ranger badge! When you finish, download and print your badge to add to your collection!

To reveal the answers below, slide over the question when you are ready.
What year was the Homestead Act signed into law?
What Year Was the Homestead Act signed into Law? 1862
Question: What year was the Homestead Act signed into law?
Answer: slide to reveal
The Homestead Act has been called one of the most important pieces of Legislation in the history of the United States.

A homesteader had only to be the head of a household or at least 21 years of age to claim a 160 acre parcel of land. Settlers from all walks of life including newly arrived immigrants, farmers without land of their own from the East, single women and formerly enslaved people worked to meet the challenge of "proving up" and keeping this "free land".

What year was the Homestead Act signed into law? Click here for a hint. 



How many miles would a homesteader walk to plow 10 acres of land?
How many miles would a homesteader walk to plow 10 acres of land? 100 Miles
Question: How many miles would a homesteader walk to plow 10 acres of land?
Answer: slide to reveal
Upon arriving to their claims, homesteaders began turning over their land. This was done out of neccesity for food, but it also was a requirement under the Homestead law. Settling 160 acres of land was a very tall task for just one individual as it meant endless hours of plowing, planting, and harvesting to support yourself. 

As the Homestead Era progressed, machinery became available to ease the load of many homesteaders, and allow for more work to be done faster. Before this, a lot of this work was done by hand, and many miles were walked to meet the homesteading requirements. 

How many miles would a homesteader walk to plow 10 acres of land? Click here for a hint.



What hand tool was used for threshing grain?
What hand tool was used for threshing grain? A Flail
Question: What hand tool was used for threshing grain?
Answer: Slide to reveal
Many homesteaders planted, grew, and harvested wheat. Once harvested, the wheat could be used to make flour. 

What hand tool help homesteaders to thresh grain? Look here for a hint.



What animal am I?
Skunk I defend myself by spraying an unnatural odor and have a stripe on my back. Who am I?
Answer: slide to reveal
Question: I defend myself by spraying an unnatural odor and have a stripe on my back. Who am I?
This is one of the many mammals that Homestead National Monument is home to. Some homesteaders used this animal's smell as a sign of spring, althougth it was not very welcoming. 

Need a hint? Follow the scent to a list of mammals found at Homestead National Monument of America. 



How many years were you required to live on your Homestead?
How many years were you required to live on your Homestead? Five years
Question: How many years were you required to live on your Homestead?
Answer: Slide to reveal
Before traveling back to the land office to "prove up" on their claim, homesteaders were required to meet certain requirements. They had to be 21 years of age, or the head of your househould, they needed to develop and cultivate the land they were on, and they also needed to live on the land for a certain number of years. 

Once requirements were met, homesteaders could return to the local land office and file paperwork to prove up on their homesteads. If all requirements were complete and could be proven, the patent to the land would be delivered by mail. 

How many years were you required to live on your homestead? Here is a hint!



Use the information below to answer the question:
32 Days How many days would it take you to travel this distance?
Answer: slide to reveal
Question: How many days would it take you to travel this distance?

In the early days, people rode trains, walked, or rode on wagons pulled by animals to get to their new homestead. If you had to make your way from New York City to Nebraska in the 1870s, as many immigrants did, you would have to travel 1,295 miles. Can you imagine taking this trip by wagon or train to get to your new home? 

Between walking and riding, if you traveled 4 miles per hour, 10 hours a day, how many days would it take you to travel that distance?




How many states were involved with the Homestead Act?
How many states were involved with the Homestead Act? 30 States
Question: how many states were involved with the Homestead Act?
Answer: slide to reveal
As you arrive at Homestead National Monument and walk from the parking lot to the Homestead Heritage Center you will pass the "Living Wall," a visual representaiton of the percentage of land in each state that was successfully homesteaded. This land combined totals over 270 million acres of land and equates to about 10 percent of the nation we live in today. 

How many states were involved with the Homestead Act? Hint: you may be living in a Homestead state.



What year was Homestead National Monument of America established?
1936 What year was Homestead National Monument of America established?
Answer: slide to reveal
Question: What year was Homestead National Monument of America established?

Extensive work went on behind the scenes for nearly 30 years to see that Homestead National Monument of America would be created. As early as 1909, concerned citizens of Nebraska had urged Congress to create a national park site on the Freeman property, the location of one of the very first land parcels claimed under the Homestead Act on January 1, 1863.

So what year was Homestead National Monument of America finally established? Final hint: Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Public Law 480, which created Homestead National Monument.




All done? Find a ranger to check your answers!
Congratulations! Blank Image
Ranger Congratulations
Slide to reveal
Nice work! Time to collect your badge!

See below for instructions on how to claim your virtual badge as well as ideas on how to display it.

 



Gold Badge, Virtual Ranger across the top
Homestead Virtual Ranger Badge

NPS Photo

To download your virtual ranger badge, right click and "save image as" jpeg. Navigate to your downloads folder and open the image on your computer. From there you can print.

A few ideas for displaying your badge:

Print your badge, use it as a template to cut a piece of cardboard matching the shape, and then glue the paper and a pin onto the cardboard!

Use tape to secure it into your passport or scrapbook!

Set it as your background on a phone or tablet!


Last updated: May 6, 2020