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Lesson Plans

Title: The People of Kansas: Where did they come from and why did they come?

Grades: Middle and High School
Download the Complete Lesson Plan (.pdf, 408KB)

Kansas History Standards (Middle and High School):

  • KH8B2I3 analyze why families migrated
  • KH8B3I3 influence of pro- and antislavery ideas
  • KH11B2I1 influence of Manifest Destiny
  • KH11B3I2 role of women in antislavery cause


See lesson plan.



  • Understand the multiple emigration forces
    involved in the settlement of Kansas Territory,
    including economic, political, social, and


  • Using primary sources (census records)
  • Analyzing a painting
Focus Questions Assessment Tools
  • What is emigration?
  • Why do people emigrate?
  • What were the push-pull forces of Kansas
  • Collect and interpret 1855 census data regarding
    the reasons people migrated to Kansas Territory.
  1. Investigate the topic of Manifest Destiny through the painting American Progress.
  2. Define the term “emigration.”
  3. Discuss the reasons why people emigrate and specifically why people emigrated to Kansas.
  4. Divide into groups and analyze census district reports about early Kansas settlers. What can be learned
    about Kansas emigrants from census data? What are the limitations of using census data.

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