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Pioneer Life: Settling on the Homestead

These sites are about daily life on the frontier. Learn about frontier towns and the chores and games that the pioneers participated in. Read the original Homestead Act that prompted many people to move West. Includes videos and historical photographs. There are links to eThemes Resources on pioneer food, sod houses, and hardships along the Oregon Trail.


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Use a homesteader's documents to learn about the Homestead Act of 1862.
This student-created website includes information about the Homestead Act. See the sidebar for related topics and people.
This WebQuest includes three learning tasks, online resources, a rubric for grading, and state standards.
Listen to a podcast about the Homestead Act, the people who settled the American West, and how they changed the nation. NOTE: This site includes ads and sponsored links.
Click on "Take a Journey" to make a virtual visit to Montana in the late 1880s. Scroll down for essays about life on the homestead. The reading level may be too difficult for students, but the information is useful to teachers.
Watch these video diaries to see how modern families struggled to live like pioneers. Find out what resources they had to use.
Read what the experts have to say about whether these modern families would have survived on the frontier. What mistakes did they make, and what would you have done differently? Click on "Clune" and "Glenn" to read more.
Explore the links on the left to learn how the settlers found water, built shelter, and battled with harsh weather. Includes many historical photographs.
This page has printable templates for creating your own pioneer town.
Pioneers often made quilts, and this page has a printable document that students can use to decorate their own quilt.
Read about three sisters who traveled West to become teachers. Click on "Next" to advance through the site.
Read the text from the Homestead Act of 1862 that prompted many people to move West.
Read interesting notes about the lives of six pioneer girls in Utah.
These sites have information about the types of food the pioneers ate and how they prepared and preserved their meals. Includes recipes for johnnycakes, brown sugar candy, snow ice cream, and molasses cake. Also includes some recipes for Native American and early African American dishes. There are links to eThemes Resources on pioneer life and westward expansion.
These sites are about houses made from sod that many pioneers built and lived in during the 1800s. See photographs of past and reconstructed sod homes in Nebraska, Kansas, and the Dakotas. Read letters from people in which they talk about life in sod houses and watch a video tour of a home. Includes a few activities for making a sod house in the classroom. There are links to eThemes Resources on grasslands and pioneer life.
These sites are about the various hardships the pioneers faced as they traveled to the West. Includes weather information, accidents, and diseases. Read personal narratives and stories.

Education Standards


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