Diggin Up Bones.

This is a two-part lesson that requires students to do a group research project. For the first part of the lesson, students will use the Internet and atlas to research either a famous cattle town or a famous person of the West. In the second part of the lesson,  students will prepare a presentation and present to the class  on what they have learned.

 The target group for this lesson is fifth grade.

Primary Learning Outcomes:
The students will gather and research information on a topic using various sources including the Internet and atlas. Students will develop three questions related to their topic to guide them in their research. Students will present the information they compile to the class.

Assessed QCCs:

Grade 5   Social Studies


15 Topic: Immigrants and Industry 

Standard:Explains how the following groups lived and worked in the American West during the late 19th century -miners and prospectors
-frontier settlers (ranchers and farmers), and
-railroad workers.

Grade 5   Social Studies

Strand: Core Social Study Skills

37Topic: Information Processing 

Standard: Formulates questions related to topic

Grade 5   Language Arts

Strand: Oral Communication

5 Topic: Listening/Speaking

Standard: Delivers a planned oral presentation. 

Non-Assessed QCCs:

Grade 5   Social Studies

Strand: Core Social Study Skills

45 Topic: Civic Participation

Standard:Works within a group, following set rules of procedures to complete an assigned task

Grade 5   Technology Integration


13 Topic: Research 

Standard:Uses basic research techniques with teacher guidance. 

Procedures:                                                      <

Introduction:                                                                                                      -      

Introduce the lesson by telling students that they will be working in groups to do reasearch on the Old West.  They will have a choice of two main topics: Famous Cattle towns or Famous People of the West.  This will be a two- part lesson. The first part will be doing research using the computer and other resources.  The second part will be presenting a presentation to the class. Emphasize that this is a collaborative project.  All group members will have a specific job to do.  It is important for each student to be involved in all phases of this project.  Point out that working together to get a job done will be important throughout life.  Group work is an effective way to get a large task accomplished. This will give students an opportunity to contribute to a group project while learning important facts about our country's history.



Part One:

Step 1:

Research a topic:

The following is the required criteria for the research part of the project:

Have students divide into groups. Each group member will pick one of the following jobs. More than one person        may serve  in each position or students may take turns for each position:

Famous Cattle Towns

Step 2:

      Introduce the first topic:  Famous Cattle towns

Kansas Cattle towns:  Includes  links to several  Kansas Cattle towns:


Abilene-Find out about the famous Kansas Cattle town of Abilene: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~ammons/AbileneKansas.html

Rough and tough cattle townsRead about  life  in some cattle towns.


Cincinnati, OH: Find out why this was considered a cattle town

Amarillo, TX:   Find out why this town still claims to be a Cowtown

Amarillo History:  Learn about the history of Amarillo; Includes a timeline.

                                                                                                              Back to Procedures

Ride' em Cowboys
    Step 3:

Introduce the second topic: Famous people of the West
Famous Cowboys

Famous Black Cowboys

Women of the West

 More Famous Cowboys

Back to Procedures
Part Two:

       Step 1:

Rubric for Presentation

Criteria 25 10 5 0
Include appropriate title. Title should be directly related to the topic. Include appropriate title. Directly related to the topic   Title included but not related to main idea  None included
Include 5 paragraphs includes 5 paragraphs
3 research questions researched answered and addressed presented in report All 3 questions addressed and answered At least 2 questions addressed and answered.
Questions mentioned, not answered
At least 1 questions addressed and answered.  None included
Questions attached Questions attached Not included
Notes/ Graphic organizers attached Notes/ Graphic organizers attached None included
Possible Points=   125 25x_____=_____ 10x____=____ 5x_____=____ 0

Pre/ Post Test

1. Name one Cattle town or famous person of the west.
2. How was the cattle industry important in helping the West grow?

Rubric for question two:

Passing Criteria    Not passing criteria                                                                                     
Answer was relevent to the information pesented in this lesson  and previous lessons.  Answer was not relevent to information presented in this lesson or previous lessons

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