Lesson Plan

Then and Now

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Grade Level:
Fifth Grade-Twelfth Grade
Anthropology, Community, Family Life, History, Language Arts, Reading, Writing
45 minutes + homework
Group Size:
Up to 36 (6-12 breakout groups)
computer lab
National/State Standards:
Colorado Reading/Writing:
5th grade 2.2, 3.2, 4.2; 6th grade 2.2, 3.2, 4.3; 7th grade 2.2, 3.2; 8th grade 2.2, 3.2, 4.1
Colorado Social Studies: 5th - 8th grade 1.1
oral history


Students will read a selection of oral histories and compare/contrast the interviewees' lives with their own experiences.


Students will select three main subject categories and for each, describe three ways that their own daily lives are different from the lives of the people interviewed.


Human beings have known about, visited, or lived near the Great Sand Dunes for a long, long time. The oldest evidence of humans in the area dates back about 11,000 years, and the most recent visitors may include you and your family. What brought those early people here? What will bring you? People have had an enduring connection with Great Sand Dunes for many generations.

Explore Great Sand Dunes' webpage on History and Culture for more information.


Computer(s) with Internet access, pen/pencil, paper



1. In what big ways have people's daily lives changed over time?

2. In what ways do you think our lives today are better or worse, and why?

3. How do you think people's lives 100 years from now will be different than ours are today? In your opinion, what will be better or worse? Why?


An oral report or art project based on the concept maps can be used instead of or in addition to the essay.


Oral history, transcript, concept map, compare, contrast

Last updated: February 24, 2015