Watch a video about the history of North Dakota. Students learn about the different groups of people who have lived or settled in the state. Students write a postcard from the perspective of one of these groups to persuade people to move to North Dakota.
This lesson is part of Great States: North Dakota | Unit 1: Introduction to North Dakota where students will examine seemingly objective terms and concepts. The materials and activities in this unit will give students a more nuanced understanding of how to set about learning about their state.
4.2.9: Explain reasons for settlement in North Dakota (e.g., railroads, Bonanza farms, Homestead Act)
- Video: Great States | North Dakota History
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or other type of screen to show videos to the class
- Class set of North Dakota History graphic organizer
- Index cards (5x7)
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
- Tell students that they will be watching a video that gives an overview of the history of their state. It will contain information they have learned already as well as new information. As they watch, they should write three pieces of information about each group using the graphic organizer. 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 | North Dakota History [4:18].
- Then, 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. Have them pick or assign a specific group. 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 North Dakota.
- 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. A large index card (5 x 7) should work well, however, younger students may need more space.
- Students should have the opportunity to read and to view the postcards of their classmates. Teachers may want students to determine which card or cards are most convincing.