Teacher Section

The Weekly South Dakotan Teacher Section

Welcome to the Weekly South Dakotan, a fourth-grade-history resource


           The Weekly South Dakotan covers a selection of important historical events that influenced the growth and development of South Dakota as a state. This web-based resource provides instructional material geared toward fourth-grade teachers whose curriculum includes the study of South Dakota history.

          The historical information provided matches the Fourth Grade Social Studies standards developed by the South Dakota Department of Education as revised in Spring 2006. The Social Studies Standards can be found at http://doe.sd.gov/contentstandards/documents/SDSocialS.pdf

Web Site Components

          There are two components to this site: a student section and a teacher section. This site can be used in several different ways, depending upon the availability of computers and the instructional plans of the teacher.

          There are nine lessons covering the chronological history of South Dakota from the time of the early American Indian tribes to the building of the Missouri River dams. Each of the nine units has been divided into four lessons. Each lesson is designed for thirty minutes of instructional time. There is one lesson for each of the first four days of the week. Teachers may use the fifth day for enrichment, extension activities, or assessment of student progress.

          The student section contains the unit text and vocabulary lists. The teacher section contains the unit text, applicable standards, unit goals, worksheet(s), classroom activities, and an evaluation sheet at the end of lesson four.

          The teacher section also includes additional web-site links, supplemental reading lists, and selected audio-visual resources. Each unit introduction contains the reading level for the text, which was determined by the Flesch-Kincaid scale embedded within the spell-check function of Microsoft Word. The average reading level for all units is 4.9. These reading levels are approximate but indicate that the writing levels are within the range of the average fourth grader.

          You may print a text-only version of the unit by clicking the link under the “print options” section, which loads the text version into Adobe Acrobat. A second option is to use the print button on your computer. This option will provide you with a copy of the web-site curriculum without the imbedded links.

History of the Web Site

     The Weekly South Dakotan is South Dakota’s first web-based education site for fourth-grade teachers whose curriculum includes South Dakota history as set forth in the South Dakota Social Studies Content Standards.

          Prior to the adoption of the content standards, South Dakota history was taught in a variety of elementary grades, depending on the structure of local curriculum. Although much has been written and published on the history of South Dakota, it was a challenge for fourth-grade teachers to locate resources that were age appropriate and fulfilled the concepts called for in the content standards.

          The web site was originally developed by the South Dakota State Historical Society and the South Dakota Department of Education and Cultural Affairs in 2002. Materials previously created for classroom use by the State Historical Society formed the basis for five of the Weekly South Dakotan’s nine units.

          The development of the web site was assisted by a diverse group of people, including teachers, State Historical Society staff, Department of Education and Cultural Affairs staff, and Bureau of Information and Technology staff. Today, the site is updated and maintained by the South Dakota State Historical Society, a division of the Department of Education.

Student Section                  Teacher Section

Click on the section you wish to enter