Students watch a video about the history of Idaho’s economy. They learn how Idaho’s geography plays an important part in why specific industries are based in that part of the state.
This lesson is part of Great States: Idaho | Unit 9: Industry, Economy & Government which explores the interconnections of Industry, Economy, & Government. A particular emphasis will be placed on undertakings that bring all three of these forces together such as resource extraction and infrastructure development.
4.SS.3.2.1 Describe examples of historic and current technological innovations in relation to economic growth in Idaho.
4.SS.3.2.2 Describe how geographic features of Idaho have determined the economic base of Idaho’s regions.
Boise District 413.36 Describe how geographic features of Idaho have determined the economic base of Idaho’s regions.
- Video: Great States | Idaho Economy
- A smart board, projector, or other type of screen to show videos to the class
- Class set of Idaho Resource Map handout
Explain to the students that Idaho’s economy is very diverse beyond its fame for Russet potato production. Explain that there are many industries, like mining, and high-tech manufacturing that provide jobs in many areas of the state, like Boise, near the rivers, and near mountains. But point out that some of the industries, like fur trade in the past, are no longer central industries for Idaho.
Play the video, Great States | Idaho Economy [3:16].
Have students choose one from the following Idaho industries: high-tech manufacturing, potato farming, silver mining, or tourism. Provide them with the Idaho Resource Map handout and ask them to circle where in Idaho they think these industries provide the most jobs based on what they learned in the video.
Once the students have an understanding of their industry’s location, have students write 3-5 sentences why they think the industry they selected is in that region of Idaho.
High-tech manufacturing: Boise
Potato farming: Southern Idaho because of its soil, and warm days and cool nights that are a good growing environment
Silver mining: Northern Idaho where the largest Idaho silver production takes place in the most active mines.
Tourism: In each part of the state such as National Parks, city and rural locations for golf, hiking, and cycling