Students gather information on different groups that have influenced Idaho’s history by watching a video; they then create a postcard with both a message and an appropriate illustration from the perspective of a member of one of these groups.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Idaho Unit 1: Introduction to Idaho" which examines seemingly objective terms and concepts. Are “wilderness” and “civilization” opposites or something more complex? How are “boundaries” established and maintained? Do words like “wealth” and “liberty” mean the same thing to everyone? How does culture influence one’s perspective and experience in the world? The materials and activities in this unit will give students a more nuanced understanding of how to set about learning about their state.
4.SS.1.2.1: Identify the major groups and significant individuals and their motives in the western expansion and settlement in Idaho.
Boise District 413.21: Explain how all cities, regions, and states have histories.
- Video: Great States | Idaho History
- A smart board, projector, or other type of screen to show videos to class
- Class set of Video Note Taking Sheet
- Index cards (5” x 7” or larger)
- Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
- Tell students that they will be watching a video that gives an overview of the history of their state. As they watch, they should write three pieces of information about each group using the video note-taking sheet. If they’d like to write down additional information, they can use the back of the organizer or another piece of paper.
Play the video, Great States | Idaho History [4:03].
- Tell students that they will be developing and writing a postcard about their state from the time period and perspective of one of the groups on whom they have taken notes. A large index card (5 x 7) should work well, however, younger students may need more space. One side of the card will contain an illustration and the other side will be a message to a friend or relative (real or imagined) in another state or country, persuading them to come visit or settle in Idaho. Teachers may want to require students to write rough drafts of their message before writing a final copy on the lined side of an index card.
- Students should have the opportunity to read and to view the postcards of their classmates.