To celebrate the ingenuity of pioneers in America, Teaching with Historic Places has posted on the web the following lesson plans that consider important aspects of the American settlement of the West. These lessons, based on sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places, are free and ready for immediate classroom use by students in history and social studies classes.
• Adeline Hornbek and the Homestead Act: A Colorado Success Story (67)
Discover how Adeline Hornbek, single mother of four, defied traditional gender roles to become the owner of a successful ranch under the Homestead Act. (National Park)
• Bryce Canyon National Park: Hoodoos Cast Their Spell (64)
Explore the natural wonders of this once remote area in Utah and learn about its evolution as a habitat for the Paiute Indians to its settlement by the pioneering Mormons to a popular tourist destination. (National Park/Includes Bryce Canyon Lodge, a National Historic Landmark)
• “The Electric Project”: The Minidoka Dam and Powerplant (160)
Discover the science and early history of hydroelectric power at the historic Minidoka Powerplant, where rural electrification and irrigation changed the lives of early 20th century homesteaders.
• The Freeman School: Building Prairie Communities (80)
Examine this one-room school in Nebraska and consider the important role it played in the community during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (National Park)
• Keys Ranch: Where Time Stood Still (65)
Meet Bill Keys, a self-reliant 20th-century homesteader whose ingenuity allowed him to thrive in the inhospitable California desert. (National Park)
• Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial: Forging Greatness during Lincoln's Youth (126)
Meet the people and learn of events that influenced the development of Abraham Lincoln's character and personality as a youth on the Indiana frontier. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)
• New Philadelphia: A Multiracial Town on the Illinois Frontier (130)
Learn about Free Frank McWorter and how archeology can help tell the story of the interracial town he founded in the years before the Civil War.
• The Old Mormon Fort: Birthplace of Las Vegas, Nevada (122)
Learn how an obscure settlement created during Mormon expansion grew into a well-known and prosperous American city, and consider factors that hinder or contribute to the evolution of early settlements into permanent communities, towns, and cities.
• Skagway: Gateway to the Klondike (75)
Join the stampede for gold when over 100,000 prospectors set out for the Klondike.
(National Park/National Historic Landmark)
• Thomas P. Kennard House: Building a Prairie Capital (149)
Explore early Lincoln, Nebraska, to visit the historic Kennard House and to learn about how this grand building set the tone for a new capital city.
To learn more about TwHP's other lessons, visit the Lesson Plan Descriptions page.