In addition to the many resources available from the North Dakota Studies program at the State Historical Society of North Dakota, other government agencies and organizations also have excellent resources to assist those interested in learning more about North Dakota.
Workshops and learning opportunities for teachers, student programs, and a host of friendly websites help to promote the history and culture of North Dakota.
The Road to Little Rock
The Road to Little Rock curriculum in this project was designed to provide teachers with an added tool to help students discover accurate historical content, to demonstrate relevance of subject matter, to maintain high engagement levels within the classroom, and to provide students the tools to apply their content knowledge to contemporary issues.
“Why do we need to learn this?” This is a question all teachers need to be prepared to answer. To answer this question teachers need engaging and relevant curriculum which demonstrates a clear connection between the activities of the classroom with the lives and personal goals of the students.
A Civil Rights Story –
“The Road to Little Rock” tells a story of nine teenagers and one judge who demonstrated enduring positive human qualities of courage, honor, determination, and responsibility. The story begins in 1957 as nine African-American teenagers sought enrollment at an all-white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1957 many school districts continued to ignore the 1954 US Supreme Court ruling of Brown v Board of Education which declared that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Students will witness the courage and determination demonstrated by the “Little Rock Nine” who sought to attend the high school of their choice. Students will also be introduced to US federal Judge Ronald N. Davies, from Fargo, who followed the law, ignored political pressure, and required the school district in Little Rock to integrate “forthwith.”
Interdisciplinary Curriculum –
The Road to Little Rock curriculum is applicable for middle and high school students. The content and activities found in “The Road to Little Rock” provide added curriculum for courses in US History, Political Science, US Government, Civics, Sociology, Problems of Democracy and Psychology. The content is also interdisciplinary and contains many components which apply to Language Arts curriculums.
The curriculum is intended to help teachers add to existing lessons/curriculum—or fill in gaps which may exist in the curriculum. The activities have been designed to adapt to most classroom settings. Teachers are encouraged to use professional skills in determining how to best use the material to best serve the needs of students.
Curriculum Components –
DVD (30 minutes): Includes features from never-seen-before interviews with three members of the Little Rock Nine and US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. The DVD is a blend of interviews with key individuals who played primary roles in the Little Rock desegregation case, and primary source documentation to tell the story of the events which led to the integration of Little Rock Central High School.
ELEMENTARY VIEWERS GUIDE: Two activities are included in the elementary packet. The activities include primary source text analysis (including quotes and photographs), character education, sourcing information, and application of knowledge. Each activity includes reproducible handouts. Teachers may access the Elementary Viewers Guide at: nd.theroadtolittlerock.org
SECONDARY VIEWERS GUIDE: Seven activities are included in the secondary packet. The activities include primary source text analysis (including political cartoons and photographs), a DBQ style writing assignment, writing essays based on Common Core Standards, character education, sourcing information, and the application of knowledge to contemporary issues. Each activity includes reproducible handouts. Teachers may access the Secondary Viewers Guide at: nd.theroadtolittlerock.org
North Dakota Schools may access The Road to Little Rock curriculum at:
Passwords are linked to your local REA. Each of the Regional Education Associations (REAs) will have their own password for their member schools. Please see your local school superintendent or principal for this password.
USS North Dakota
On November 10, 1908, the first American dreadnought battleship, the USS North Dakota was christened by Mary Benton of Fargo as it slid from its construction site into the water. The ship was the biggest, heaviest, and fastest ship yet built by any navy. The ship, its builders, the Navy, the United States, and North Dakota were praised in superlatives. The Fargo Forum printed a front page headline declaring the ship to be “Uncle Sam’s Biggest Peacemaker.” Governor John Burke, speaking at the formal launching ceremonies stated that “this is the greatest fighting machine in the world, and named after the greatest agricultural state in this union.”
Lesson plans to teach students about the USS North Dakota are available for grades 4, 8, and high school. These lessons—primary documents and research from the archives of the State Historical Society of North Dakota—offer students, teachers, and the general public an opportunity to study this unique story in our state’s history. Teachers may use these online lessons to teach about early 20th century North Dakota history or to supplement discussions in connection with the launching of the new USS North Dakota submarine in 2014.
Civil War Era in ND
The Civil War Era in North Dakota lessons will help prepare students to engage in discussions, debates, research, or writing assignments using primary source documents, photographs, and maps.
Middle and high school teachers and students will find these lessons useful in courses on the Civil War, U.S. History, or North Dakota history.
The lessons were created as part of the commemoration of the Civil War sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) by North Dakota Studies program at the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
The North Star Dakotan
The North Star Dakotan was first published in 1993 and eventually included five issues. These first five issues were sponsored and funded by the North Dakota Humanities Council, and cover North Dakota history from 1780 to 1971. A web-based issue 6 was developed in 2016 and covers the period 1972 to present.
All six issues of The North Star Dakotan provide readers with highlights of the major news and events in North Dakota's history.
The Mission of Herman Stern
Future home of The Mission of Herman Stern. This is the true story of how one person made a difference in the lives of over 125 people by rescuing them from Nazi Germany. Content will include video, lessons, and activities.
Future home of Woman Suffrage. Content will include images, lessons, and activities.
ND Night Sky
A new online exhibit is showcasing the North Dakota Night Sky. Sections highlight history, innovation, North Dakota’s contributions to engineering, technology, and exploration and how they relate to Mars.
Included for students is the 360° Guide to the North Dakota Night Sky and activities. This immersive video works on your phone, computer, or VR headset. Users will find the North Star, andromeda galaxy, and all the circumpolar constellations.