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Westward Expansion at First Hand: Letters of Anna Ketchum and Ruhamah Hayes

 Grade Level:  5th Grade

 
Estimated duration of lesson:  Two 45 minute sessions
 
Ohio Content Standards:  
5th Grade Social Studies:  History Benchmark C  GLI #6, People in Societies Benchmark B  GLI # 4,5
 
Primary Sources:
 
 
Lesson Summary:  Students will examine two primary documents: letters written about life in Ohio by Anna Ketchum and Ruhamah Hayes.
Instructional Steps:
 
1.  Have students examine primary document of letter written by Anna Ketchum on overhead and individual copies.  
 
a. Have them try to read letter and record answers of what life was like in Ohio during that time period.
 
b. After some time has passed, pass out transcripts of letter for easier reading.
 
C. Share observations, connections made, and what students thoughts are of document.
 
d.  Have students share answers and record answers on chart paper.
 
 
2.  Have students examine primary document of letter written by Ruhamah Hayes.
 
a.  Students can use transcripts to help determine answer to question of what was Ruhamah’s description of Ohio during that time period.
 
b. Have students share answers and record ideas on chart paper.
 
3. Create Venn diagram comparing/contrasting the two letters.
 
4. Students pretend they are living in the 1800s and are traveling to settle to Ohio.  They write their own friendly letters home describing the new land to family they have left behind.
 
Assessment:  
 
Assess friendly letters to check student understanding of settlement experiences and check for realistic descriptions of the time period.
 
Materials Needed by Teachers:
 
Copies of letters by Anna Ketchum and Ruhamah Hayes, transcripts, chart paper, markers, 

Materials needed by students:
 
Pencils, copy of letters by Anna Ketchum and Ruhamah Hayes, chart paper, markers, notebook paper for letters
 
 
Prepared by Abby Eldridge, Shelby City Schools, Shelby, Ohio