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Teacher's Guide

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Images of the Past: Observation Skills and Directions During this lesson your students will complete one or more tasks in which they will enhance their observation skills and ability to follow directions. They will also learn about Custer’s Historical Stagecoach lines which provided daily accommodations for travelers from rail-heads at Sidney, Nebraska and Cheyenne, Wyoming. These are perfect activities for an afterschool group, club, elementary class or for home use.

A. Things To Do

1. Print out the guided notes and distribute to class.

2. Watch Dakota Pathways Episode #12 and have the students complete the guided notes.

3. Go online and complete the Word Find 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 – Reading a Map

8. Standards

1. Guided Notes

“Guided Notes” Student
“Guided Notes” Teacher

2. Online Episode of Dakota Pathways Episode #12

3. Online games

a. Have the students access the main page of Dakota Pathways. The Word Find 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.

Crossword Puzzle
Crossword Puzzle - Key

7. Class Activity – Reading a Map

“Hand me that map!” I can still hear those words just like it was yesterday. My dad would attempt to drive the car, eat a sandwich, drink a pop and read a map all at the same time. My brother and I would sit in awe or maybe it was terror, as my dad would complete the map reading circus with ease.

I feel the hardest part about using the family map was folding the family map. This was my mother’s job. The ripped, torn, food stained map would make its way to the special location under the passenger’s seat. Unfortunately, the map was never there when we needed it. If the map was there, it was the wrong state.
Reading a map is a lost art. Most of my friends are using global positioning systems or computer programs like http://maps.google.com . The following activity introduces the students in your class to the traditional state map. Feel free to add additional questions to personalize the activity for your area of the state.




State map – (1 for every 2 students)

- Maps can be obtained from the state. I would use the same maps for a few years to reduce the total number of new maps required for your class on a yearly basis. The information may be a little outdated, but the skills used by the students would be the same whether the map is 2 years old or 2 months old. Maps can be requested from the Office of Tourism at (605) 773-3301.

South Dakota maps can be viewed online at the SD DOT site.


1. Divide the class into groups of two.

2. Distribute one South Dakota map and two SDPB MapReading worksheets to each group.

Map Reading worksheet PDF
Map Reading Key

3. The students should work together completing the worksheet.

4. This would be a great time to introduce scale in math class. Additional map questions could be included, depending on the amount of time you have planned for this activity.

Extra room for additional questions is included on the worksheets. Maybe a question about latitude and longitude would be appropriate.


1. differentiate between state and national boundaries.

2. define regions as categorized by geographic location.

3. use appropriate maps for a specific purpose, including elevation, land use-resource, road maps and mileage tables, time zones, and migration/movement patterns.
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

8. Standards


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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