11 Squak Valley


Competencies: Social Studies, History

History 4.2: Understands and analyzes causal factors that have shaped major events in history.

CBA: Meeting Needs and Wants


 

Objective: Students compare life for the early settlers and life now in Issaquah by listening to several selections from an early settler’s, Bessie Wilson Craine’s memoirs.  Then students write a journal entry as if they were Bessie.

Materials: Squak Valley; a Tale of Old Issaquah, by Bessie Wilson Craine, paper, pencil and crayons

Procedure:

  1. Read parts of Squak Valley to the students (a story of a young girl growing up in the 1880’s in Issaquah).  Recommended selections include:               
    •       Hops, pages 4-5, 49, 59 (top of page 5 and 49 have racist comments)
    •       Railroad, pages 18-19
    •       Little town of Gilman, pages 22-23 (one sentence on page 23 is racist)
    •       Gilman becomes Issaquah, pages 35-36
    •       The country school, pages 26, 50
    •       Issaquah school, page 41
    •       Haying, pages 27-28
    •       The mill and timber industry, pages 30-31, 63
    •       Coal, pages 42, 55-56
    •       The roads, pages 47-48
  2. As students listen to each selection, they can create their own illustrations of what is being described in their book.  Students share their pictures with the class to see how similar and different their interpretations of the passages were.
  3. Compare life in Issaquah now to life in Issaquah when Bessie lived here.
  4. Tell the students that they will be writing a journal entry as if they were Bessie Wilson Craine.  If students prefer, they may choose to be another person mentioned in Bessie’s memoirs.  Discuss parts of a journal entry.  This might include date, location, setting description, sketches, and an important event or an interesting situation.
  5. As a class make a two-column chart.  In the first column list key words and phrases that would be logical to include in a journal entry from the late 1800’s, such as farm chores, sewing, cooking, riding horses, playing with pets, etc.  In the second column list modern key words and phrases that would not be appropriate to include, such as cars, airplanes, any electric appliances, skyscrapers, etc..
  6. Share some of the photos in the book, Squak Valley, to help stimulate brainstorming ideas.
  7. Students write their journal entries in partners, small groups, or individually.
  8. Students share their journal entries with the class.

Downloads:

Activity 11 (DOC)
Activity 11 (PDF)
Letters to the editor re: Squak Valley

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12 Dear Annie


Competencies: Social Studies, Civics, History

Civics 1.1.1: Understands the key ideals of unity and diversity.

Civics 1.1.2: Understands and applies the key ideals of unity and diversity within the context of the community.

History 4.2: Understands and analyzes causal factors that have shaped major events in history.

CBA: Humans and the Environment


 

Objective: Students brainstorm possible solutions to problems that Native Americans and early settlers faced in the Issaquah area.

Materials: list of problems (see attached, print and cut into strips, one problem per strip), pencil, paper

Procedure:

  1. Discuss two or three of the difficulties early settlers and Native Americans faced in the late 1800’s.  As a class brainstorm possible solutions.  Here are several examples::
    • Our family wants to build a homestead in the Issaquah area but we can’t decide where the best location would be to set up our farm.  We are considering the top of the hill, next to the lake, or in the valley.  Where would you suggest building?
    • This winter is unusually cold.  I am concerned that my livestock (cows, sheep and horse) will get too cold in the barn.  What do you suggest I do to keep them warm and safe?
    • The settlers keep coming into our hunting and fishing areas.  They are building farms, cutting down the trees and mining in the hills.  I am concerned that they will scare away all of the wildlife and we will lose our good hunting grounds.  What should I tell these strangers that keep moving in to our woods?
  2. Explain to the students that the early settlers and Native Americans have written some of their problems and are asking advice on how to solve the problems.  Their job is to respond with suggestions. They will be “Annie,” the columnist who gives advice.
  3. Copy the list of problems on the following page and cut them into separate strips of paper (one problem on each piece of paper).
  4. Put students in partners or small groups.  Students draw one strip of paper with the problem written on it.  Read the problem to the students and make sure they understand the problem.  Together, they apply their knowledge of historic circumstances to create viable solutions to the problem.
  5. Students respond orally or with short written replies.
  6. As a follow up lesson, students can write their own letters, posing problems, exchange letters, and again, respond with a solution.
  7. As a conclusion to the activity, compare the resources that were available to the early settlers and Native Americans and resources that are available to us now.  Discuss why some problems that were serious then are no longer problems for us today.

Downloads:

Activity 12 (DOC)
Activity 12 PDF)
Questions for Annie

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