Scavenger Hunt Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan 4

Pioneer Farming

exploring the prairie module icon


  1. Students will conduct online research and answer questions describing the type of housing pioneers built to match the natural environment.
  2. Students will locate log cabin and sod house frontiers on a map and explain the relationship of the housing type to the natural environment.
  3. Students will complete a poster exhibit or Web page showing the importance of corn production in everyone's lives.

Activity Summary

  1. Students will work with a partner to complete online research as part of a scavenger hunt activity.
    Ask students to think of at least two additional research questions. Students can number notecards, a paper or word processing document and record answers to the questions and citation sources.

    Online resources are listed for student research:
  2. Students will create a poster exhibit or Web page to showcase their investigation. Students may illustrate their display with original drawings using KidPix software. Using the theme, "Life Back Then", students will explain life in a log cabin. Sketches may include drawings of a log cabin, split rail fence, cabin interior with fireplace and spinning wheel, a sketch of a pioneer family, and a sod house.
  3. Select a rubric for evaluating students' Web page projects.


  • What kinds of pioneer homes were built where trees were abundant?
  • What types of pioneer homes were built where trees were scarce?
  • How did pioneers build a sod home?
  • How were log homes and sod homes similar? How were they different?
  • What were the advantages of each?
  • What sort of floor plan was typical of the sod or log house? Number of rooms, windows, doors, fireplace, bedrooms?
  • What animals sometimes joined the pioneer family as roommates?
  • (Add your own question)
  • (Add your own question)

Tips for Teachers

For some students, the number of research questions may be too challenging. You might consider asking some students to answer the even numbered questions and others the odd numbered ones.

Students should design a concept map or storyboard before developing their poster or Web page.

Why Use Concept Mapping

Graphic Organizer Examples

Storyboard Example

Create a Storyboard

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