Lesson Plan

Write About A 19th Century Job

Illustration of Blacksmith
Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
30 Minutes
Common Core Standards:
K.L.1.a, K.L.1.d, K.L.2, K.L.2.a, K.L.3, K.L.6, 1.L.2, 1.L.2.b, 1.L.2.d, 1.L.3, 2.L.2, 2.L.3, 4.L.1, 4.L.1.f, 4.L.2, 4.L.2.a, 4.L.2.d, 4.L.3, 4.L.3.a, 4.L.3.b, 5.L.2
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.


Write a paragraph about a 19th century job.


There were many types of workers at Bent's Old Fort. Jobs of the 19th century at Bent's Fort include blacksmith, carpenter, laborer, domestic, owner, clerk, doctor, trapper and trader. 


Have students familiarize themselves with 19th century jobs. They could independently research jobs, or could listen to stories about experiences of workers. Passages could be read from Lewis Gerrard's book Wah-To-Yah and the Taos Trail or other primary sources about some of the jobs of the time. Another option is to do the See, Wonder and Think about Bent's Old Fort activity, and comparing what the students see of the jobs the living historians are protraying to jobs of the present. Students are encouraged to research the Bent's Old Fort park website - nps.gov/beol.  


This document has a printable worksheet for your students. The top has four illustrations of jobs with the job title underneath, The bottom reads: Directions: Circle the picture that shows a 19th century job you would like to write about. Now write a paragraph that tells about the picture you circled. You do not have to use all the lines. Just write on as many as you need. There are lines for your students to write a paragraph.

Download Question worksheet with illustrations

Lesson Hook/Preview

The See, Wonder and Think about Bent's Old Fort activity has pictures that show living historians working at Bent's Fort. 

This activity could also be a post activity to a field trip to Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site or another 19th century historical site. 


Have students familiarize themselves with jobs of the 19th century by researching or by a type of experience.

Students fill out worksheet. 


Blacksmith, Laborer, Domestic, Carpenter

Supports for Struggling Learners

This activity could be made into an oral activity. 

Enrichment Activities

Students are encouraged to color in the illustrations. 

Contact Information

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Last updated: December 13, 2016