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Early Ohio Settlement

Lesson Plan

Oil painting on linen (between 1869 and 1890) by Carl Christensen


Core Theme:

Growing the Nation: Westward Expansion

Grade Level:


Estimated duration of lesson:

3 days at 30 minutes per day.

Content Standards:

History: Describe the earliest settlements in Ohio including those of prehistoric peoples. Explain how Ohio progressed from territory to statehood, including terms of the Northwest Ordinance. Skills: Communicate relevant information in a written report including the acknowledgement of sources.

Language Arts: Write an informational report.

Primary Source used:


Summary of the lesson:

To assess the students’ schema of Ohio’s settlement they will begin the lesson by observing a primary source. They will answer spiral questions individually and then discuss the source as a class collectively. After discussing the settlement of Ohio, the students will then read about Ohio’s first settlement, The Public Land Act of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance. The students will search for what the Land Act and the Ordinance were and what they did for the settlement of Ohio. They will organize their new found information in a graphic organizer. This information will then be used to create an informational report describing how the government created an organized way to settle the land. 

Description of the instructional steps to implement the lesson:

  1. Each student will look at the primary source image (Christensen painting and Northwest Ordinance) and answer the .
  2. A chart of the students’ prior knowledge will be generated in a group discussion.
  3. The students will read about Ohio settlement, The Public Land Act of 1785 (in thesection) and the Northwest Ordinance (in the ) in reading groups. 
  4. During the reading time the students will complete their graphic organizer and determine important facts about the way land was acquired. This information will be used to complete the lesson.
  5. The students will use their facts to generate an informational report about the way settlers were able to make a permanent settlement. They will use their facts acquired from reading about The Public Land Act of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance.
  6. The students will read their report to the class.


graphic organizer

Post Assessment and scoring guide:


Teacher Materials:

Ohio History Text, Along The Ohio Trail

Student Materials:

The student will need one picture of early settlers, spiral questions,  and a graphic organizer

Other items of importance:

Vocabulary/continued learning
Settlement, permanent settlement