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Teacher's Guide

A. Things To Do

1. Print out the guided notes and distribute to class.
2. Watch Dakota Pathways Episode #11 and have the students complete the guided notes.
3. Go online and complete the Activity and Challenge quiz.
4. Student glossary included.
5. There is a list of related links that would be helpful for student research projects.
6. Print out the crossword puzzle and distribute to class.
7. Class activity
8. Standards

1. Guided Notes

Guided Notes - Student Version.
Guided Notes - Teachers Version.

2. Online Episode of Dakota Pathways Episode #11

3. Online games

a. Have the students access the main page of Dakota Pathways. The College/University Map game is found by clicking Activity.

b. Have the students access the main page of Dakota Pathways. The online quiz is found by clicking Challenge.

4. Glossary

a. Have the students access the main page of Dakota Pathways. We have included a student glossary.

5. Links

a. We have included an extensive list of related sites. We preview each related site looking for adult content. Unfortunately, we cannot find all of the inappropriate material on an individual site. Please call us Toll Free at 1-800-456-0766 if you find any questionable content and we will remove it. Thank you.

6. Crossword Puzzle

a. The students may use the vocabulary words and definitions for the crossword puzzle if they need help.

Episode 11 Crossword PDF - Answers

7. Class Activity School House Memories

I can still remember going to annual public events at small one room schools in rural South Dakota. All of the area farmers and their families would gather for a school play or social and it usually ended with some of the older men playing accordions.

I also had friends that attended one-room schools before the major closure and consolidation took place across the state. They had to make the challenging transition of attending a larger school in town and riding a bus to school every morning.

The memories of these great schools are quickly fading as new generations emerge. Some of the schools have been converted into homes, others have be preserved by local Historical Societies, but most are falling apart or have been converted into farm land.

The following activity will encourage students to learn about one-room schools. Also, the students will gain knowledge about their parents and grandparents. The activity involves group research in which the students try to locate all of the prior country schools in their county.

Where Are They Now


  • County map 1/student (most counties will provide free of charge)
  • Current district maps
  • Library access
  • Internet access
  • Historical Society (some have extensive research on area schools)
  • Interview (grandparents and great-grandparents)
  • Pins for map
  • Paper and pencil


In class day 1:

1. Watch Dakota Pathways episode #11, Blackboards & Computers in class. Explain the close proximity of country school and how the children were expected to walk one to three miles each way. The schools were built every 2-3 miles. The luxury of riding in a SUV or bus was not an option. Slowly as transportation opportunities improved the country schools were closed and the children were bused to larger schools in nearby towns.
The students will research the location of the prior country schools in the county in which their current school is located.

2. A map should be place on a bulletin board in the front of the classroom. Pins will be used to mark the location of schools once they have been located. The name of the school should be included on the map and a trivial fact from a book or grandparent could also be highlighted.

In class day 2 - 3 (more time may be needed for the research depending on length of your class sessions):

1. The student should research the topic using the library and internet. This should be a group project in which all of there research is compiled. Although, individual credit should be accessed based on information attained by each student.

2. Maybe take a field trip to the local Historical Society or museum if you have one located in you town.

Out of class time:

1. The student should interview their relatives to find out where they went to school. Hopefully, some of them attended school in the county you are studying.

In Class day 4 ongoing

1. All of the research should be compiled. The map used in the front of the class should be full of small notes and pins.

2. Each student should record the compiled information onto their own personal map.
3. The map on the bulletin board can be left up and more schools can be added if additional information is found. This can be an ongoing research project.


2. explain the impact of people and geographic location on the growth and expansion of South Dakota, emphasizing Manda, Arikara, Sioux, and other historic tribes; explorers (Lewis and Clark and the Veredrye brothers) and traders (Pierre Chorteau and Manuel Lisa); railroad expansion and town building; homesteaders and gold miners; and rainfall, prairie, Great Plains, Black Hills, and the Missouri River system.

3. trace the history of South Dakota with emphasis on notable South Dakotans such as Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, John B. S. Todd, Fred T. Evans, Laura Ingalls Wilder, James Scotty Philip, Niels E. Hansen, Gertrude (Zitkala-Sa) Bonin, Peter Norbeck, and Francis Case; impact of the gold rush; controversy over statehood; and Indian Wars and reservation life.



5. locate major South Dakota geographical features, such as the Missouri River; the Black Hills and Badlands; and the capital (Pierre) and the following cities: Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen, Huron, and Yankton.



5. identify examples from South Dakota history of conflicts over rights, how the conflicts were resolved, the important people who helped resolve them, and conflicts that remain unresolved.

Full Script (PDF)

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