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        3-5,13+

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        North Dakota | Activity 5.3: Transportation on the Missouri River

        Students watch a video about using waterways to transport goods and people. Students create a timeline from the video representing changes in North Dakota transportation from the Lewis and Clark expedition to the railroad era.

        Lesson Summary

        Students watch a video about using waterways to transport goods and people. Students create a timeline from the video representing changes in North Dakota transportation from the Lewis and Clark expedition to the railroad era.

        This lesson is part of "Great States: North Dakota | Unit 5: Settling North Dakota" - a study of how and why North Dakota attracted diverse settlement.

        Time Allotment

        15 minutes

        Learning Objectives

        Standards: 

        4.5.6: Describe ways geography has affected the development (e.g., the development of transportation, communication, industry, and land use) of the state over time. 

        4.2.4: Use chronological order and sequence to describe the cause-and-effect relationships of historical events and periods in North Dakota (e.g., how the railroads led to settlements in the state) 

        Supplies

        Directions

        1. Tell students that they will be watching a short video to learn how rivers provided an avenue for the transport of goods.

        1. Instruct students to take notes about significant transportation-related changes and the dates of these changes in their notebooks or on loose-leaf paper.

        1. Play the video, River, Roads Rail and Air | Water Communication [3:46].

        1. Distribute the North Dakota Transportation Timeline handout.

        1. Have students cut the strips and reorder the events to create a timeline of notable events in the history of transportation along the Missouri River. If desired, have students paste the strips onto construction paper to organize the events.

        Answer Key

        1804: Lewis and Clark expedition arrives in North Dakota in keelboats on the Missouri River on their way to the Pacific Ocean

        1807: Steamboats were invented but unfit for shallow Missouri River waters

        1811: Western River Steamboats were built to successfully travel shallow waters

        Mid-1800s: Overland wagon route were only initial competition for steamboats, but the difficulties of wagons routes kept steamboat travel successful and expensive

        1870s: Railroads began being built through North Dakota, giving steamboats cheaper competition

        1880: Bismarck, North Dakota was the last important steamboat port on upper Missouri River

        1887: Long-distance freight transportation by steamboat along Missouri River effectively ends as railroad connected major Midwest cities

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