Watch a video about homesteader Joseph Marquart. Students learn about Marquart’s initial reactions to seeing North Dakota and answer questions about his experience and why he settled in North Dakota.
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.
4.2.9: Explain reasons for settlement in North Dakota (e.g., railroads, Bonanza farms, Homestead Act)
- Video: Homesteading | Joseph Marquart
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or other type of screen to project videos to the class
- Class set of Homesteader Joseph Marquart handout
Tell students they will be watching a short video about an individual homesteader in North Dakota. Explain that not all homesteaders came from the eastern states. Some traveled across the globe from countries in Europe and Asia. Joseph Marquart was a homesteader from Ukraine who left his home country to flee a conflict with a commanding officer there.
As background, explain that the Homestead Act was a law passed to allow American’s to take ownership of a parcel of land for free. It was the government’s way of getting people to move west and settle. It is unknown as to whether Joseph Marquart came to America because of the Homestead Act or if once he was here decided to become a homesteader, either way this is a great story about homesteading.
Provide students with the Homesteader Joseph Marquart handout. Instruct students to take notes about Joseph Marquart’s experience as a homesteader. Tell students to pay attention to both the story and the visual cues in the video.
Play the video, Homesteading | Joseph Marquart [1:15].
Have students answer the questions on the handout and discuss their answers.
Joseph Marquart was the Wheat King of North Dakota. [0:05]
Joseph Marquart’s initial reaction was awe, amazement, exhilaration, and excitement at seeing North Dakota. [0:52]
The Homestead Act was a huge opportunity for Marquart: lots of “unbroken” land available for farming, huge opportunity to build a life. [0:50]