Lesson plans: Osage, Legend and Arkansas History: Fact or Fiction

This lesson serves to spark interest in the study of Arkansas’ three Native American groups by using an Arkansas legend, “Norristown Mountain”. Students will evaluate the authenticity of the legend, “”Norristown Mountain,”” by comparing facts about the Osage Indians and the legend. Students will develop an excitement for studying Arkansas’ Native American groups through the exploration of legends, culture, and traditions that tie, specifically, the Osage to Arkansas’ past.

Creator: Butler Center

Grades: 0-4 Elementary School

Time period: Pre-European Exploration Through Arkansas Settlement to 1802

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Lesson plans: The Story of Hot Springs, 1500-1900 AD

In this short lesson students will learn about the geology and hydrology of Arkansas’ “hot springs” and how the environment of the Ouachita Mountains Natural Division relates to the development of the city of Hot Springs. They will become aware of the role the U.S. Government played in the preservation of the hot springs and will work in class to create their own advertisements for the city and the therapeutic effects of its waters.

Creator: Butler Center

Grades: 5-8 Middle School

Geographic: Ouachita Mountains

Location: Garland County

Time period: Pre-European Exploration Through Arkansas Settlement to 1802

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Lesson plan: Crowley’s Ridge: An Upland in the Lowlands

Students will learn about the formation of Crowley’s Ridge and the features that make it one of Arkansas’ six natural divisions. They will also learn about the impression that this “upland in the lowlands” made on the Europeans who explored Arkansas and the reasons Crowley’s Ridge was attractive to them. Students will read about the plants and animals important to early settlers on Crowley’s Ridge and use this information to produce a class quilt depicting the natural features of the ridge.

Creator: Butler Center

Grades: 5-8 Middle School

Geographic: Crowley’s Ridge

Time period: Pre-European Exploration Through Arkansas Settlement to 1802

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Lesson plan: Can you dig it? Developing an overview of Arkansas History from the Prehistoric to the Civil War

Students will be introduced to Arkansas History by becoming archeologists who discover artifacts in a “dig simulation.” They will gain an understanding of how archeology has aided the study of Arkansas’ past and be introduced to the different groups who have made our state their home. By placing artifacts on an Arkansas History Timeline, students will develop an overview of the important time periods in Arkansas History. As a final exercise student teams will creatively present a period in Arkansas’ History to their class.

Creator: Butler Center

Grades: 0-4 Elementary School

Time period: Pre-European Exploration Through Arkansas Settlement to 1802

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Lesson plan: Native Americans in Arkansas: The Quapaw

The goal of this unit is to teach students about the Quapaw tribe that once lived in Arkansas. They will learn about the homes, social organization, food and eventual exodus of the tribe. The students will learn that information comes in a variety of formats. The unit will conclude with an art project where students document an activity in the tribe using “leather” and paint.

Creator: Butler Center

Grades: 0-4 Elementary School

Time period: Pre-European Exploration Through Arkansas Settlement to 1802

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Lesson plan: The mastodon kill

Students will study and research the prehistory of Arkansas following the trail of the giant mastodons and the Paleo Indians found in “The Mastodon Kill,” Chapter I of Bandits, bears, and backaches.

Creator: Butler Center

Grades: 5-8 Middle School

Time period: Pre-European Exploration Through Arkansas Settlement to 1802; Louisiana Purchase Through Early Statehood 1803-1860; Civil War Through the Gilded Age 1861-1900; Early 20th Century (Great Depression) (gr 9-12)

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