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        Idaho | Activity 7.1: Idaho Becomes a State

        Unit 7: Territory-to-State

        This Unit will look at the key turning points that led to Idaho evolving into the 43rd state of the Union. Students will learn that statehood was a complex process and not an inevitable historical outcome.

        Lesson Summary

        Students watch a video about the history of Idaho. Students learn key points leading up to its statehood in 1890, and use that information to construct a timeline.


        Standard: 413.24 Identify major events that led to Idaho statehood.

        413.25 Chronologically organize the events that led to Idaho becoming a state.

        Time Allotment

        20 minutes


        • Video: Great States: Idaho History
        • A smart board, projector, or other type of screen to show videos to the class
        • Notebooks or loose-leaf paper
        • Classroom set of Idaho Becomes a State worksheet
        • Construction paper
        • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
        • Scissors
        • Glue


        1. Tell students they will be watching a short video about the history of Idaho, up to its statehood. Have students take notes of important dates, names, and events leading up to Idaho’s statehood in 1890. 
        2. Play the video, Great States: Idaho History [4:00]. You may want to pause at certain points to give students enough time to write important information.
        3. Along with a pair of scissors, hand out the Idaho Becomes a State worksheet to students. Individually, have students cut out the strips and rearrange them into chronological order (by date). 
        4. Distribute construction paper and art supplies. Have students paste their timelines to the paper, adding from their notes any major events that led to Idaho becoming a state.
        5. Reconvene and discuss the order of events with the class. Answer any questions they may have.

        Answer Key

        The events in the timeline should be in the following order (indented dates are possible add-ons from the students’ notes):

        1803 – Louisiana Purchase

        1805 – Corps of Discovery enters Idaho

        1824 – William H. Ashley and Jedediah Smith expand fur trade

        1846 – The Oregon Treaty acquires Idaho’s lands for the United States

        1860 – Franklin, the first non-native permanent settlement, is established

        1860 – Gold is discovered in Clearwater River

        1861 – Civil War begins

        1863 – President Lincoln creates Idaho Territory

        1890 – Idaho becomes the 43rd state


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