Washington 1889: During the visit to the exhibit


Washington 1889: During the visit to the exhibit


Legacy Washington, Office of the Secretary of State




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Grade Levels


Washington 1889: Blazes, Rails and the Year of Statehood is a public exhibit. A year of big dreams, big burns and big politics,1889 captured a place in our history as a time of great prosperity and adversity. The face of Washington changed. Pioneers arrived and townsfolk rebuilt from the rubble. Finally, on November 11, 1889, Washington rose as the 42nd state in the union.

Washington 1889 includes middle school curriculum with accommodations and adjustments available to upper elementary and high school.

The lesson plans follow the inquiry arc as outlined in the College, Career, Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards and are common core aligned (Washington State standards) to challenge students in essential reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. These plans are poised to engage students before, during, and after viewing the Washington 1889 exhibit (either in person or online).

Lesson Objectives

  • EQ: How does the information from the exhibit answer your question?
  • EQ: What information is missing from the exhibit that would help you answer your question?
At the end of this lesson students will...
  • Review the behavior expectations.
  • Use the exhibit to answer their question.
  • Have an understanding of what groups or events are not included in the exhibit.


  • Behavior Expectations
  • Exhibit Vocabulary
  • Notes sheet
  • Formative Assessment ½ sheet


Common Core Reading
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2.  Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.5.  Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
Common Core Writing
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.7.  Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
State Social Studies Standards
  • History: Understands and analyzes the causal factors that have shaped major events in history.


Do Now
  • Review Behavior Expectations with students and answer any questions that they may have.
In the classroom
  • Hand out the note sheets and have students attach their finalized questions and predictions to the notes sheet. Students may want to use clipboards while they are in the exhibit.
  • Share the vocabulary list with the students.
    • You may want to attach the lists to the wall near the exhibits.
    • This may help students as they are reading the posters.
  • Escort students to the exhibit.
1889 Exhibit
  • Have the students explore the exhibit.
    • If you want the students to go in chronological order, have them begin on the left hand side of the room (Swedish Indian).
  • While they are in the exhibit have them take notes on their individual sheets focusing on key details of each segment of the exhibit and how those details can help them answer their focus question.
    • It may be helpful to have students do this process in pairs. They could explain their focus question to partners, then talk through each display segment and what key details relate to the focus question.
  • IF COMPUTERS/ CHROMEBOOKS ARE AVAILABLE: Have two or three set up in the room and have the student explore the timeline from the Legacy Washington project “The March to Statehood 1881-1889” https://www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/timeline/timeline.aspx?s=1881&e=1889
  • When each person/pair has spent time analyzing and taking notes at each display segment, they should spend time contemplating how the display as a whole helps answer their focus question, and in what ways it does not fully answer it (the last part of the note sheet.

Formative Assessment

1889 Exhibit
  • Have each student complete the half sheet of paper at the end of class
  • This will help to set up the post-exhibit activity
Washington 1889: During the visit to the exhibit