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Inquiry Question

Historical Context





Table of

About This Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places nomination form for the "Thomas P. Kennard House" (with photos), as well as primary and secondary resources in the collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society. The Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office, a division of the Nebraska State Historical Society, initiated this project and funded the initial research and writing of this lesson under a grant from the National Park Service. Research for this lesson was done by Lincoln Public Schools teachers David Beatty, Jill Carey, Sandra Dorn, Jennifer Fisher, Laura Parks, and Shawn Podraza; Annette Parde of Nebraska Wesleyan University; and staff at the Nebraska State Historical Society. Teaching with Historic Places staff edited the final draft. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be utilized in United State history courses, specifically in units on westward expansion, state government, and town building history.
Time period: Late 19th century

Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students

1) To describe the challenges Nebraskans faced in selecting a state capital and how they responded to those challenges.
2) To explain how Nebraska's first commissioners worked to ensure the success of the capital city.
3) To identify factors important in planning a capital city and to design a state capital.
4) To create an exhibit about the history and significance of their community’s oldest buildings.

Materials for students
The materials listed below can be used directly on the computer or printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a small version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) Two maps showing the eastern counties of Nebraska and the plat for Lincoln;
2) Three readings about the selection of Lincoln as the first state capital and the work of the state commissioners to ensure its success;
3) Five photos of the city of Lincoln in the 1860s and 1870s and of the Kennard House.

Visiting the site
The Nebraska Statehood Memorial, Thomas P. Kennard House, is a historic site operated by the Nebraska State Historical Society. The Kennard House is located in Lincoln, Nebraska at 1627 "H" Street. For more information or to arrange a tour of the house, contact staff at the Nebraska State Historical Society. See their website here.


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