Lesson Four: Niels E. Hansen and Doane Robinson

Focus Questions:

• Why were Hansen’s crop developments so important? (Hint: What happened to farmers if their crops failed?)

• Compare the climate of South Dakota with that of Siberia. Why are plants that can survive in Siberia good crops for South Dakota?

• Where could you look to find things that Robinson collected?

• What effect did Robinson’s interest in tourism have on the state?

Imbedded Information In The Student Lesson:

Cossack alfalfa; smooth brome grass; crested wheat grass; South Dakota State Historical Society; Cultural Heritage Center; Mount Rushmore


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Notable Dakotans Evaluation Sheet

Classroom Activities:

     Have students name products made from wheat and other South Dakota crops.  Then have a local extension agent visit the class and explain about crops that grow in your area, bringing samples of the crops to show. If the agent can supply seeds, have students plant them and watch them develop.

     Visit a nearby grain elevator with the class to see how crops are handled today. Ask the students why growing productive crops is so important to South Dakota. What other scientific advances and inventions have helped to make farming easier and more productive? (Hint: development of tractors and other modern machinery and the use of irrigation and chemicals.)

Create a class history. Throughout the year or the rest of this quarter, have students write articles, take pictures, and keep artifacts from class events to arrange in a large 3-ring binder. Include the biographical exercises written for Lessons One and Two of this unit. At the end of the year, put the projects on display to let everyone know how your class made history!