Homesteading - Weather on the Plains
Hard winters, drought, and hail were some of the challenges that drove homesteaders to give up.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act and created opportunity for
the 372,000 families that poured onto the prairies. The families came for many reasons –
a hunger for land, a vision for the future, a longing for adventure, or an interest in profit.
Some failed. Some scraped by. Some succeeded and, in the process, put down roots that
shaped the region as we know it.
Filmed in scenic Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota locations through all four
seasons, “Homesteading” blends interviews with historians, the stories told by descendants
of homesteaders, and dramatic readings from pioneer diaries and letters to paint a picture
of the people who struggled and toiled to create a life for themselves on the prairies.
Kim Stenehjem (Producer), Heidi Nelson (Editor), Dave Geck, Ryan Sailer, Ben Stommes,
Frode Tilden (Videographers), Ryan Sailer, Ben Stommes, Steve Wallevand (Production
Assistants), Matt Olien (Narrator), Barb Gravel (Production Manager), Bob Dambach (Executive
“Homesteading” Prairie Public 2010
Explain ways humans benefit from Earth’s resources (e.g., air, water, soil, food, fuel, building materials)
Explain how natural hazards affect populations, resources, and the environment (e.g., floods, storms, hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes)
Identify the factors (e.g., pollution, heredity, diet, virus, bacteria, parasite) that may result in disease
Identify events on a simple time line
Identify historic United States figures (e.g., George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Sacagawea) and link them with their contributions
Interpret simple time lines (e.g., identify the time at which events occurred, the sequence in which events developed, and what else was occurring at the time)
Describe how community life has changed from past (i.e., pioneer and tribal) to the present
Describe ways (e.g., the development of transportation, communication, industry, and land use) geography has affected the development of the local community over time
Identify similarities and differences between past events and current events in North Dakota (e.g., in the lives of people from different cultures past and present)
Use chronological order and sequence to describe the cause-and-effect relationships of historical events and periods in North Dakota (e.g., how the railroads led to settlements in the state)
Identify the contributions of prominent individuals (e.g., Teddy Roosevelt, La Verendrye, Rough Rider Award winners) to North Dakota
Explain reasons for settlement in North Dakota (e.g., railroads, Bonanza farms, Homestead Act)
Explain the significance of agriculture in North Dakota history (e.g., immigration, railroads)
Explain how the physical environment (e.g., rainfall, climate, natural hazards) affects human activity in North Dakota
Describe ways geography has affected the development (e.g., the development of transportation, communication, industry, and land use) of the state over time