The State of the States

The State of the States
Caroline Harrison: First Ladies' Lives

Skill: Middle School
Time Required: Four to five class periods

Standards Compliance
NCSS Strand 3
People, Places, and Environments
NCSS Strand 6
Power, Authority, and Governance
NCTE Standard 6
Students apply knowledge of language structure, convention, and media techniques to create, critique, and discuss texts.
NCTE Standard 8
Students use a variety of technology and information resources to gather, synthesize, and communicate knowledge.
NCTE Standard 9
Students develop an understanding and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures.
NCTE Standard 12
Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes.
ISTE Standard 4
Technology communications tools
NCSS Strand 5
Individuals, Groups, and Institutions


During Caroline Harrison’s lifetime, a great many states were added to the Union.  Indeed, according to her biography, in 1891 shortly before she died, she and President Harrison traveled to California (which became a state in 1850). 


The purpose of this lesson is to have students research information on the states that were part of the Union by the 1890s.  Students will then create an almanac of the states.

Materials Required:

Computers Internet access Materials to make an almanac (paper, coloring utensils, printer, and a binder.)


1.  Ask students what they know about the states during the 1800’s.

2.  Ask students what they know about almanacs.

3.  Students should act as historians, statisticians, archivists, artists, and photojournalists to locate information about the states during the 1800’s. Use the Curriculum Timeline and the web resources below to help you gather information.

4.  Allow students to collect interesting facts from the library/internet about the states to create a class almanac.  (The almanac can include pictures too!)

Extending the Lesson:

  • Present the Almanac to the school principal for permission to bind and publish.
  • Present the Almanac at parent conferences.

Sources & Resources:

Websites: Credits:
This lesson was created by Dr. Averil McClelland and developed by Marian Maxfield, Kent State University