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Bears and Panthers Aplenty: Early Settlers Make a Home in Arkansas

Students will study and examine the Southwest Trail as described in “Bears and Panthers Aplenty”, Chapter II of Bandits, bears, and backaches.

Homes of Early Arkansas Pioneers

Students will use primary and secondary sources to learn why and how Arkansas was settled (including the Louisiana Purchase, Trail of Tears, Land Runs, and Homestead Act of 1862) and what life was like for pioneers. Arkansas has a diverse architectural history. To truly understand the evolution of the built environment in our state, students should learn about the first structures of the pioneers. The early vernacular architecture of Arkansas is a perfect teaching tool for educators. By studying and utilizing early structures, students can learn about early travel to the state; how settlements developed and prospered; how pioneer homes were built, immigration, ways of life for the pioneers, and ultimately, how Arkansas became the state that it is.

Life in the Arkansas Territory

At the conclusion of the lesson, students will compare and contrast life in the territory to present time.

Natural Resources Used by Settlers on the Buffalo River

Students will discuss the Buffalo River and its Natural Resources. Students will discuss the use of the white oak tree for making baskets. Students will be shown samples of baskets made from the oak tree and how they were used along the river by the Indians and Pioneers. There will be a demonstration on the way oak splints are made into weavers and into a market basket and egg basket. Students will make a basket using the weaving technique.

Places in Arkansas: A Tour of Our Unique State

The goal of this unit is identify important cultural and historical places in the state of Arkansas. Students will be introduced to six important places in Arkansas: Blanchard Springs Caverns, Crater of Diamonds State Park, Hawksbill Crag, Little Rock, Old Mill, and Victorian Village. As a culminating activity, students will create a report on a place in Arkansas from pre-selected topics.