Wyoming History Lesson Plans for Students and Teachers
Lesson plans on Native American Topics
Beginning fall, 2021, social studies curricula in Wyoming schools must comply with new state standards for teaching about Indigenous people in Wyoming and the West. Wyoming PBS, WyoHistory.org and other organizations have developed high-quality lesson plans on Native American topics linked to the specific standards. See below for access to a grid in which the plans are banded by grade level and columned by the specific standards, with links to the main categories of standards along the bottom row of the grid. Clicking on any topic named in the cells of the grid takes the user directly to the lesson plan.
Thanks to Christine Usry of the Natrona County School District who prepared the grid and to Wyoming Humanities for supporting this effort.
Some of the lesson plans on the grid are also included among the Digital Toolkits of Wyoming history, developed by WyoHistory.org and detailed further below.
Digital Toolkits of Wyoming History
Aimed at secondary levels and above, these toolkits connect topics in Wyoming history with one of 12 overarching areas of U.S. history, from the Constitution through the Cold War to coal-rich Wyoming’s role in the nation’s future.
Each toolkit contains:
1. A background summary of the topic.
2. Links to relevant primary-source documents—maps, photos, letters, etc.
3. Links to more detailed WyoHistory.org articles on the topic.
4. Exercises encouraging students to write about or otherwise encounter the topic.
5. Bibliographies and links for further information and research.
6. Information on how each toolkit meets Wyoming State Social Studies Standards
Area 1: Foundations of the United States (1700-1800)
EQ: How do our constitutions as living documents represent “we the people”?
- Topic 1: The Wyoming and U.S. Constitutions
- Topic 2: To be developed
Area 2: Early Growth of the United States (1800-1850s)
EQs: Why do peoples and societies explore, relocate, and settle frontiers?
- Topic 1: Father De Smet’s Map: Tribal boundaries and the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851
- Topic 2: Compare and Contrast 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties
- Topic 3: Oregon Trail
Area 3: Native People in a Changing West
EQ: How was Native American culture transformed by contact with Europeans, and what impact did these transformations have on the Native Americans?
- Topic 1: Who Are the Northern Arapaho People?
- Topic 2: How to Make an Arapaho Hand Drum
- Topic 3: Flags: Symbols of People
- Topic 4: The Story of the Seven Sisters
- Topic 5: How the Arapaho Came to Wind River
- Topic 6: Two Nations, One Reservation
Area 4: The United States During the Civil War (1850s-1860s)
EQ: How did the Civil War fundamentally alter the nation?
- Topic 1: White and Native Views of the Platte Bridge Fight
- Topic 2: Fort Halleck and Conflict on the Overland Trail
- Topic 3: Indian Wars
Area 5: The United States During Reconstruction (1860s-1870s)
EQ: How did the Western region of the U.S. respond to challenges of Reconstruction?
Area 6: Westward Expansion and the United States (1840s-1890s)
EQ: How did westward expansion affect tensions within different regions of the U.S.?
- Topic 1: Jim Bridger’s Map and Euro-American Settlement of the West
- Topic 2: Establishing the Wyoming Territory
Area 7: Industrialization and Progressivism (1880s-1920s)
EQ: How did economic growth affect the quality of life within the U.S.?
Area 8: The U.S. During the First World War (1910s-1920s)
EQ: How did the movement of peoples to and within the U.S. affect its society?
- Topic 1: Grace Hebard and the Wyoming Home Front in World War I
- Topic 2: American Indians in World War I
- Topic 3: Anna Coleman Ladd and the Cost of War
- Topic 4: African Americans in World War I
- Topic 5: George Ostrom, Soldier Artist
- Topic 6: Women in World War I
- Topic 7: Wyoming: A Patriotic, Agricultural State
- Topic 8: The Nation’s Home Front in World War I
- Topic 9: Doughboy Footlocker Instructions
Area 9: The U.S. During the Great Depression (1920s-1930s)
EQ: What lessons can be learned from the effects of the Great Depression?
- Topic 1: Boom and Bust in the Salt Creek Oil Field
- Topic 2: The Teapot Dome Scandal
- Topic 3: The CCC in Wyoming
Area 10: The U.S. During the Second World War (1940s)
EQ: How did the Second World War produce changes in the U.S. home front?
Area 11: The U.S. During the Cold War (1950s-1980s)
EQ: How did the Cold War change the national character of the U.S.?
- Topic 1: Missiles and the F. E. Warren Air Force Base
- Topic 2: To be developed
Area 12: The U.S. During the Struggle for Civil Rights
EQ: How successful was the U.S. in creating a more equitable society?
- Topic 1: The Black 14
- Topic 2: Tribal Rights to Wind River Water
- Topic 3: Tribal Hunting Rights in a Changing West
- Topic 4: Managing Wild Game on Wind River Reservation
Area 13: The U.S. From the 1980s through the Present
EQ: How has the U.S. responded to globalization and conflict in recent decades?
Packages for Elementary Classrooms
These packages group WyoHistory.org articles on the Oregon Trail and on the Indian Wars of early Wyoming, themes widely studied in fourth-grade classrooms. For each topic or historic site, the packages also offer background articles, field-trip lesson plans to the sites, detailed maps, interactive quizzes for students and short videos of Wyoming fourth graders visiting the sites.
The lesson plans also specify how the materials address the latest version of Wyoming’s Social Studies Content and Performance Standards.