Students view a short video clip about the steamboats that traveled up and down the Red River carrying many types of cargo. They answer questions related to the video and describe how they think the commerce on the Red River via steamboat changed Minnesota's economy.
This unit is part of "Great States: Minnesota | Unit 7: Iron, Lumber, and Milling" where students will assess how new technology and new people influenced the development of Minnesota during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
18.104.22.168.1: Describe how and why the United States claimed and settled the upper Mississippi River region in the early nineteenth century; explain the impact of steamboat transportation and settlement on the physical, social and cultural landscapes.
22.214.171.124.1: Analyze how the rise of big business, the growth of industry, the use of natural resources, and technological innovation influenced Minnesota's economy from 1860 to 1920.
- Video: Commerce | Steamboats on the Red
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show videos to the class
- Class set of Steamboat on the Red handout
Tell students that they will be watching a video about steamboats that traveled up and down the Red River, transporting goods such as food, farm equipment, wagons, livestock, and giving passage to immigrants.
Distribute the Steamboat on the Red handout. Instruct students to fold the paper in half, so they don’t see the bottom portion while watching the video. Instruct students to take notes about details as they watch this video. Remind students note-taking means writing down short details, so there’s no need for complete sentences. Note-taking highlights important ideas and details and allows students to come back later for further study.
Play the video, Commerce | Steamboats on the Red [1:49]. After viewing the video, have students use their notes to answer the questions on the handout.
The river was too shallow for the heavy steamboat to make it down the river in some areas, so everyone would get off the boat to help it float in those areas [0:10].
100 tons [0:33]
Imported goods, food, farm implements, wagons, horses, sheep, cows, and passengers [0:51]