Student Activities

Neighbors Along the Elwha River

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Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Social Studies


After reading an article explaining the use of Township and Range to identify land parcels, students will look at two specific townships along the lower Elwha River. The teacher will assign each student a name to research on the BLM website and find information about homesteads. The student place the homesteader's name on n individual Clallam County map, the teacher and students will fill in a large class map to show all the homesteaders in each section of Township 30N and 31N, Range 7W. Students will write a journal entry on the additional name they selected to research on the website. The paragraph will include who they selected, why they selected that name and what information they found. If they were successful in finding another homesteader the journal entry should include where the homestead was located.

  • Aliquot: an equally divided part. A section could be divided into fourths, then the fourth was divided again into fourths until less than an acre became a lot.
  • Base Line: The horizontal line where the survey began.
  • Meridian: The vertical line where the survey began. Washington and Oregon are on the Willamette Meridian.
  • Range: The measure of township squares east or west of the meridian.
  • Section: A square mile numbered between 1 and 36 containing 640 acres.
  • Township: A six by six mile square containing 23,040 acres divided into 36 sections. Also used for the measure of township squares north or south of the base line.

Students will need access to the internet. Each student will go into the BLM Land Patent website ( to gather information about their homesteader to fill in the student graphic organizer. Please use this url instead of the one in the pdf. 


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Last updated: September 30, 2015