From These Beginnings

Language Arts Activity

Students prepare a bulletin board that shows the changing identity of their state before and after statehood.



  1. Prepare a bulletin board by dividing it in half vertically and identifying the dividing line with your year of statehood.

  2. Show students pictures of an earlier times, such as one of a familiar street or building. Have them compare it to a recent photograph and discuss how it has changed over time.

  3. Tell students that they are going to use the bulletin board to show how their state changed over a period of about 100 years. On the left side of the board they will use pictures and text to show what life was like at least 50 years before statehood; the right will show life about 50 years after statehood was achieved.

  4. Assign, or have students choose, partners. Explain that together they will research one area of their state's history then prepare material for both sides of the dividing line. Ask for student ideas on what they might research. Use the following suggestions to stimulate discussion.

    Trace the changes in

  5. Establish guidelines for students' work, types of illustrations, bibliography, and so forth. Be sure students understand the difference between things that changed because of statehood and things that changed for other reasons, such as clothing fashions.


Some students might contrast the two eras by choosing a historical figure from each one and comparing their deeds and accomplishments.

Students might also compare life for a particular group of people, such as Native Americans, who lived in the area before European settlers arrived.

After completing the bulletin board and discussing, in broad terms, the changes that took place, encourage students to find the similarities between their lives and those of earlier inhabitants of the state. Guide them to the recognition that though outward forms may change, the basic needs and wants of people are not that different.

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