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.
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)
An interactive whiteboard, projector, or other type of screen to project videos to the class
Notebooks or loose-leaf paper
Class set of North Dakota Transportation Timeline handout
Construction paper (optional)
Tell students that they will be watching a short video to learn how rivers provided an avenue for the transport of goods.
Instruct students to take notes about significant transportation-related changes and the dates of these changes in their notebooks or on loose-leaf paper.
Play the video, River, Roads Rail and Air | Water Communication [3:46].
Distribute the North Dakota Transportation Timeline handout.
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.
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