Farming Changes from the 1800s to 1900s
Lesson Plan Item
|Grade||4th Grade||Class||Social Studies||Length of Lesson||1 Hour|
|Lesson Title||Farming Changes from the 1800s to 1900s|
|Unit Title||Agriculture Changes in the Midwest|
|Unit Compelling Question||What changes have occurred in agriculture since the 1800s in the Midwest?|
Farming in the 1800s was not easy. Much of the plowing and planting work was done by hand, or with the help of a horse, mule, or ox. Early agricultural tools were wood, cast iron, hand held, and poorly crafted, resulting in many injuries.
In the first half of the 1800s John Deere invented a polished steel plowshare that could break soil more easily than earlier cast iron implements. The polished plow allowed the sticky soil to slide off the steel, and farmers to work more quickly as they did not have to stop to clean off their plow as they did previously. Utilizing this plowshare behind a horse or mule eased the farmers work to a degree. With horse-drawn agricultural tools farmers could plant increasingly larger areas.
By the late 1880s, steam engines were helping farmers with threshing, although the machinery was bulky and posed significant fire and injury threats.
Shortly before the end of the century, John Froelich invented the first successful gasoline-powered engine that could be driven backwards and forwards. His design became the basis for the Waterloo Boy Tractor, which in time grew to be the John Deere tractor company.
Between 1910 and 1960 tractor sales increased rapidly and replaced horses and mules in plowing, soil preparation, planting and cultivating, as well as mowing hay, harvesting wheat and small grains (combining), and later in cotton and corn picking.
~Allyson Simpson, Simpson College
2018.017.011 This photograph shows a Chickasaw County farmer cutting corn. The farmer appears to be using a corn cutter, which was a horse-drawn sled with blades attached to it that cut one or two rows of corn at a time.~ Matthew Miller, Teaching Iowa History Team
|Lesson Supporting Question||How did farming, farm equipment, and farm life change between the 1800s and 1900s?|
Students will read and complete Venn Diagrams to compare farming practices, farming equipment and the life of farm families during 2 different time periods. They will also incorporate their current knowledge of farming in their area to begin to make connections and comparisons of earlier farming practices, to farming practices of today. They will look at how crops were planted and harvested and the tools used for that process, as well as examining the evolution of farming equipment. Students will also learn about “farm life” and the way farm families lived during the 1800s and 1900s. Again, they will compare the two different times and begin to make connections to the 1900s and today.
|Primary Sources Used|
|Lesson Themes||No themes are assigned for this lesson.|
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|Author||Megan Oliver||Reviewer||Dr. Chad Timm, Simpson College||Created||08/16/2019||Last Edited||09/06/2019|
|Lesson Plan Development Notes: Social Studies Methods, Simpson College, Spring 2019|