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Lesson Plans

Title: The People of Kansas: Who are they and why are they here?

Grades: Middle and High School
Download the Complete Lesson Plan (.pdf, 559KB)

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 settlement experience through
    first-hand accounts of pioneers to Kansas


  • Using primary sources (letters, photographs)
Focus Questions Assessment Tools
  • How would your life be different if you lived in
    Kansas Territory in the 1850s?
  • Write an 1850s-style letter or skit using primary
    source documents.
  1. Investigate and share themes and messages in the painting American Progress.
  2. Review (from Lesson 1) the reasons why people emigrate and what the students learned from the 1855
  3. Students analyze letters and photographs from the territorial period using the “Assessing Primary Source
    Documents” worksheet.
  4. Students write a historical fiction letter or skit based on the territorial documents.
  5. Students share letter or skit with class.

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