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
Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
60 Minutes
State Standards:
Washington State Standards:
Social Studies:
EALR 4: HISTORY, Component 4.1, Component 4.4
Thinking Skills:
Remembering: Recalling or recognizing information ideas, and principles. Understanding: Understand the main idea of material heard, viewed, or read. Interpret or summarize the ideas in own words. Analyzing: Break down a concept or idea into parts and show the relationships among the parts.

Essential Question

What combination of factors both natural and man-made is necessary for healthy river restoration and how does this enhance the sustainability of natural and human communities?


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.


  • 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


Download Local History Lesson Plan

Download Graphic Organizers


Step 1. Have the students read the three articles:
Port Angeles - Thumbnail History
Ceremony in Port Angeles marks arrival of electricity
Clallam County-Thumbnail History
Step 2.  Have the students highlight all dates then fill in the graphic organizer.
Step 3.  Discuss how to combine the information from the three articles and other information into one time line.
Step 4. Assign a journal entry to discuss one national or world historical event that affected the local area. For example, the exploration of the Washington coast brought European diseases to the native tribes thereby reducing their populations.


  • Chronological - (of a record of events) starting with the earliest and following the order in which they occurred.

Assessment Materials

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.

Contact Information

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Last updated: April 9, 2020