Skip Redundent Navigation
Territorial Kansas Online 1854-1861 Explore Topics Territorial A-Z Map Lesson Plans  
Untitled Document

Lesson Plans

Title: Town Development

Grades: Middle and High School
Download the Complete Lesson Plan (.pdf, 480KB)

Kansas History Standards (Middle and High School):

  • KH8B3I2 explain why territorial government was
    affected by slavery conflict
  • KH8B3I6 analyze how the slave debate affect Kansas
  • KH11B3I1 describe the development of territorial
    towns in relation to the slavery issue


See lesson plan.



  • Understand the elements of town development
    and how it was affected by the conflict over the
    extension of slavery into the territory


  • Using primary sources (letters, advertisements,
    government documents)
Focus Questions Assessment Tools
  • Why would town development be important in a
    new territory?
  • How were towns created in the 1850s?
  • Why was the slave issue connected to town
  • Groups of students work together to create and
    “sell” their towns.
  1. Map key locations and geographical features of northeast Kansas during the territorial period.
  2. Learn the vocabulary terms preemption, speculation, share, and quitclaim from reading primary source
  3. Apply knowledge about town settlement through role-playing as a town surveyor, promoter, city clerk, and
    town commissioner.
  4. Groups of students create fictitious towns and sell town shares to other students. The towns selling the
    most shares win.
  5. Through a random drawing, two towns are determined to be slave towns. The populations of these towns
    will determine if Kansas is free or slave. Discuss the ramifications.

The current URL is