Pioneer Quick Facts Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan 2

Pioneer Farming

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The following activities, suggestions and extensions may prove helpful as students read the introduction about fertile soilfirst farmersfur tradepioneer farmers and the quick facts. These pages are designed to extend students' background information about the impact westward-moving pioneers had upon the natural environment and how the settlements changed the character of the land.


  1. ADD A FACT: Cut and paste the text of the Quick Facts page to a word processing document. As students learn more about the early pioneer farming through the activities, students may add facts to each section of the list.
  2. FACTS AND STATS: Because many of the "quick facts" include dates in Iowa's history, introduce the Quick Facts page by creating a timeline matching activity. For example, the following facts were copied from the Quick Facts page with the corresponding dates or years listed below. Students should work in pairs, record their "estimate" on the timeline and go to the Quick Facts page to compare their answer with the fact.Facts:
    The last great glacier retreated approximately _______years ago.Scientists believe people have lived in the upper Midwest for nearly _________ years.Indian groups began building earthen mounds in the upper Midwest approximately _________ years ago.Mound-building activities along the Upper Mississippi ended around _____ AD.About _____ years ago, Indians of a farming culture settled along the Mississippi river in northeast Iowa.The state of Iowa was named for the _____ Indians.The first European explorers to reach the upper Midwest were _________ and ____________ in June 1673.Pioneer settlement in Iowa began in ______.Iowa became a state in ______.Stats:
    12,000 years ago
    12,000 years ago

    4,000 years ago

    1300 AD

    700 years ago
    Ioway Indians

    Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette


  3. THE REST OF THE STORY: Most of the quick facts introduce an area of study that students could research further. Encourage students to identify one of the facts for further research. For example, "After the Civil War (1861-1865), large numbers of European immigrants came to live in Iowa." Ask students to brainstorm research questions and organize those in a concept map on the board or overhead. Ask students to identify key words related to why diverse immigrant groups came to Iowa.
  4. PIONEER TOWNS IN IOWA: Students can research the names of the first towns in Iowa and locate early settlements on an outline map of Iowa.
  5. NATIVE AMERICAN GROUPS IN THE UPPER MIDWEST: Read aloud selected passages from Pioneering the Upper Midwest.
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