Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
A More Perfect Union
Lesson at a Glance
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Chapter 14, Lesson 4: Resettlement of the Land (pp. 427-432)
The Big Idea
Framework Concept: Technology Railroads and new machinery
opened the Great Plains to ranching and farming.
- Make a two-column chart on the board with the words,
"Ranching" and "Farming" at the top of each column. Along
the side of the chart, create rows labeled "Reasons for Doing It,"
"The Role of Railroads," "Daily Life," "Problems or Hardships," and
"Results." Work with students to fill in the chart, discussing
especially why so many people tried these two activities and why
success was short-lived for ranchers and difficult for many farmers.
- Summarize the Homestead Act, and talk about why
the Act was so important to people. Have students
speculate on what would happen if such a law were passed today.
Use the Lesson Outline to preview the content of the lesson.
You may wish to print it for your students as a guide during reading.
Check for Understanding
- Have each student choose to be either a farmer or rancher
and write a set of journal entries describing one season.
Encourage students to make reference to the climate, the railroads,
and at least one other kind of technological advance (of their choice)
in their entries.
- Organize students into working groups. Assign half of the
groups to create a poster encouraging people to take advantage
of the Homestead Act and move to the Great Plains. The other
half should create posters warning people not to move to the
Great Plains because of the hardships there. When they are
finished, students should compare their posters.
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