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Key to Kansas

Kansas History Standards
By the end of Eighth Grade

History Standard: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of significant individuals, groups, ideas, events, eras, and developments in the history of Kansas, the United States, and the world, utilizing essential analytical and research skills.

Benchmark 1: The student understands individuals, groups, ideas, events, and developments during the period of exploration in Kansas (1541 - 1820).

Indicators: The student:

  1. compares and contrasts the foods, housing styles, and traditional arts of early American Indian nations (e.g., Kansa, Osage, Wichita, Pawnee, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Apache, Comanche, Kiowa).

  2. explains how Long’s classification of Kansas as the “Great American Desert” influenced later U.S. government policy on American Indian relocation.

  3. describes the changes brought about by the interaction of American Indians and the early explorers to the region.

Instructional Suggestions:
1. Create a display or performance that captures daily life of one early American Indian nation. Include information on food, housing, the arts, etc. As a class, compare similarities and differences you found. (1)

Benchmark 2: The student understands individuals, groups, ideas, events, and developments during the era of migration.

Indicators: The student:

  1. explains the effect on the way of life for at least one American Indian nation relocated to Kansas (e.g., Kickapoo, Sac and Fox, Delaware, Potawatomi, Shawnee).

  2. compares and contrasts the views held by the federal and state governments with that of the American Indians over use of the Kansas frontier.

  3. uses diaries and journals to analyze why families migrated.

  4. describes life at a frontier military fort in Kansas (e.g., Fort Leavenworth, Fort Scott, Fort Larned, Fort Hays).

  5. discusses the U.S. military’s impact on American Indians on the Kansas plains.

Instructional Suggestions:
1. Research and excerpt diaries or journals of families traveling through Kansas to the west. Develop a story for younger students about these migrants’ experiences. (3)
2. Adopting an American Indian perspective, develop a presentation to the U.S. Congress about AmericanIndians’ experiences with the military on the frontier. Include a list of proposals, and illustrate your presentation with maps and diagrams. (5)
3. Learn about the lives of soldiers at one of the historic military forts. Visit a fort nearby, or use books or on-line sources. Write a series of diary entries or letters home describing soldiers’ experiences. (4).
4. Adopting a U. S. soldier’s perspective, write a diary entry for a soldier stationed at a military fort in Kansas during this time period. (4)

 Benchmark 3: The student understands individuals, groups, ideas, events, and developments of the territorial period and the Civil War in Kansas.

Indicators: The student:

  1. explains the concept of popular sovereignty under the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

  2. explains why control of the Kansas territorial government was affected by the fight over slavery.

  3. describes the influence of pro- and anti-slavery ideas on territorial Kansas (e.g., Bleeding Kansas, border ruffians, bushwhackers, jayhawkers, the Underground Railroad, free state, abolitionist).

  4. describes the role of important individuals during the territorial period (e.g., Charles Robinson, James Lane, John Brown, Clarina Nichols, Samuel Jones, John W. Geary, David Atchison, Samuel Lecompton).

  5. evaluates the Wyandotte Constitution with respect to the civil rights of women and African Americans.

  6. analyzes how the debate between Northern and Southern states on the issue of slavery affected Kansas becoming a state.

  7. describes the causes and the consequences of Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence during the Civil War.

  8. describes the economic effects of the Civil War on the people of Kansas.

  9. explains the significance of the Battle of Mine Creek as part of the Civil War campaign of General Sterling Price.

Instructional Suggestions:
1. Write an editorial supporting or attacking the concept of “popular sovereignty” as a solution to the slavery question prior to the Civil War. (1)
2. Work together to create a timeline that describes national events surrounding Kansas’ becoming a state. (5)

Benchmark 4: The student understands individuals, groups, ideas, events, and developments during the period of expansion and development in Kansas (1860s - 1890s).

Indicators: The student:

  1. explains why difficulties between American Indians and Whites in western Kansas increased after the Civil War.

  2. explains the migration patterns of the English, French, Germans, German-Russians, and Swedes to Kansas.

  3. describes the reasons for the Exoduster movement out of the South to Kansas (i.e., free land, lynching, the rise of Jim Crow laws in the South).

  4. explains one process of acquiring land in Kansas outlined in the land laws.

  5. interprets and uses primary source documents to interpret adaptations made by Kansas settlers to the physical environment.

  6. describes the development of Populism in Kansas (i.e., disillusionment with big Eastern business, railroads, government corruption, the plight of the farmer).

  7. describes the impact of railroad expansion in Kansas to or upon town development, the cattle industry, and agricultural settlement.

Instructional Suggestions:
1. Use a variety of sources to learn about African-American life in the south during the late 19th century. Write a first person letter describing conditions in the south and what you hope to find if you moved to Kansas. (3)
2. Develop a chart listing Kansans’ concerns in the late 19th century and how Populists proposed to address these issues. (6)
3. In groups, construct an argument on the question “Was the extension of the railroad beneficial or harmful to the lives of Kansans?” (7)

Benchmark 5: The student understands individuals, groups, ideas, events, and developments in the period of industrialization and modernization in Kansas (1890s - 1920s).

Indicators: The student:

  1. explains the accomplishments of the Progressive movement in Kansas (i.e., regulating the sale of stocks and bonds, workman’s compensation, inspection of meat processing plants, public health campaigns).

  2. explains the reasons for the prohibition campaign of Carry A. Nation.

  3. describes the significance of farm mechanization in Kansas (i.e., increased farm size and production, specialized crops, population redistribution).

  4. explains the impact of the growth of mining in southeast Kansas on the population and economic conditions of the region.

  5. explains the significance of the work of Kansans on the future of the aviation industry (e.g., Earhart, Longren, Cessna, Beech, Stearman).

  6. describes the movement for women’s suffrage and its effect on Kansas politics (e.g., the fight for universal suffrage, impact of women on local elections).

  7. explains the challenges German Americans faced in Kansas during World War I (e.g., discrimination, movement against German languages).

  8. explains the connection between Mexican immigrants and the railroad.

Instructional Suggestions:
1. In teams, perform a radio or TV public service announcement explaining how one of the accomplishments of Kansas progressives contributes to a better quality of life in Kansas. (1)
2. Use primary and secondary sources to learn about the lives of German-Americans in Kansas in the early 20th century. Write a first person letter to a family member in Germany describing challenges German-Americans faced during this time. (7)
3. Develop an answer to the question: “Is it better to describe the use of Mexican labor to build railroads in Kansas as “opportunity” or “exploitation?” Support your answer with evidence and reasoning. (8)

Benchmark 6: The student understands individuals, groups, ideas, events, and developments of the Depression and World War II in Kansas (1920s -1940s).

Indicators: The student:

  1. describes the emergence and growth of the Ku Klux Klan in Kansas during the 1920s and the ways William Allen White used the Emporia Gazette to raise awareness.

  2. compares agricultural practices before and after the dust storms of the 1930s (i.e., rotation of crops, shelter belts, irrigation, terracing, stubble mulch).

  3. uses local resources to describe conditions in his/her community during the Great Depression.

  4. summarizes the effects of New Deal programs on Kansas life.

  5. explains how World War II acted as a catalyst for change in Kansas (e.g., women entering work force, increased mobility, changing manufacturing practices).

  6. describes the dispute between artist John Stuart Curry and the Kansas legislature over depiction of Kansas values in the statehouse murals.

Instructional Suggestions:
1. Design a poster comparing agricultural practices before and after the dust storms of the 1930s. (2)
2. Use primary and secondary sources to learn about New Deal programs in Kansas. Share your findings with the class. Together, summarize benefits or disadvantages to these initiatives. (4)
3. Use primary and secondary sources to learn about the impact of World War II in Kansas. Present a graph or chart explaining the impact of the war on life in Kansas. Give a brief talk explaining how and why changes occurred. (5)

Benchmark 7: The student understands individuals, groups, ideas, events, and developments in contemporary Kansas (since 1950).

Indicators: The student:

  1. uses a time line to trace the events that led to the Supreme Court decision in Brown v.Topeka Board of Education.

  2. explains the reasons Southeast Asians migrated to Kansas after 1975 (e.g., church, community, organizations, jobs, the fall of Southeast Asian governments).

  3. describes the impact of the change from family farms to agribusiness on Kansas culture.

  4. recognizes that depopulation of rural areas and increased urbanization have shifted political power in Kansas.

  5. describes major flood control projects in the 1950s.

  6. identifies issues facing Kansas state government in the 1980s and beyond.

  7. gathers information using resource people to analyze the impact of a recent historical event upon the local community.

Instructional Suggestions:
1. Use primary and secondary sources to learn about events challenging Jim Crow prior to Brown v. Topeka Board of Education. Identify at least five events. As a class, choose the most significant to depict in a classroom display, justifying your choices. (1)
2. Make a list of factors that brought Southeast Asians to Kansas. Rank order the factors. Justify your rankings. (2)
3. Develop a news clip file illustrating the effects of rural depopulation and increasing urbanization on Kansas political issues. (4)

Benchmark 8: The student engages in historical thinking skills.

Indicators: The student:

  1. examines historical materials relating to Kansas history, analyzes changes over time, and makes logical inferences concerning cause and effect.

  2. uses basic research skills to conduct an independent investigation of an event in Kansas history.

  3. examines historical documents, artifacts, and other materials of Kansas history and analyzes them in terms of credibility, purpose, perspective, or point of view.

  4. compares different historians’ descriptions of the same event in Kansas history to examine how the choice of questions and the use of sources may affect their conclusions.