Lesson Plan

Freeing the Elwha ("Local History")

Local Port Angeles residents pose in front of Humes ranch more than twenty years after the Humes brothers constructed it.

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Grade Level:
Sixth Grade-Eighth Grade
American Indian History and Culture, Civic Engagement, Commerce and Industry, Economics, Entrepreneurs, Government, History, Immigration, Landscapes, Maritime History, Planning/Development, Political Science, Regional Studies, Social Studies, Westward Expansion
One Class Period
Group Size:
Up to 36
National/State Standards:
Washington State Standards:
Social Studies:
EALR 4: HISTORY, Component 4.1, Component 4.4


What was the life of a homesteader like and what tools from today would make their lives simpler?


  • Identify the purpose of the Homestead Act;
  • Decide what was needed to move west during the 1800s;
  • Describe the day-to-day life of homesteaders;
  • Explore who moved onto the Olympic peninsula;
  • Develop a time line for events and developments along the Elwha River and Port Angeles, WA.


During this lesson students will read three articles and create a timeline by putting the events in chronological order using a graphic organizer. The time line can be used in future lessons to add later occurring events. The time line will allow students to see how events in one area can affect local, state, national and world history and visa versa.

Chronological:arranged in order of time


  • Journal
  • Articles
  • Port Angeles - Thumbnail History
  • Ceremony in Port Angeles marks arrival of electricity
  • Clallam County-Thumbnail History
  • Graphic Organizers
  • "Countdown to the Elwha River Restoration"
  • "Countdown to the Elwha River Restoration" teacher master



The graphic organizer should show events in chronological order. Events from other subjects and readings can be added to the time line if they have an effect on the local area or vice versa. For example, the building of the Spruce Railroad occurred because of the entrance of the US into WW1. The railroad then opened up more of the Olympic peninsula to logging. There are many examples found throughout the assigned background articles.



Last updated: February 28, 2015