Nords in the Midwest
Lesson Plan Item
|Grade||9th Grade||Class||N/A||Length of Lesson||1-2 class periods|
|Lesson Title||Nords in the Midwest|
|Unit Compelling Question||How did Norwegian immigration affect Iowa's policy issues?|
Large numbers of Norwegians immigrated to the United States between 1850-1930 seeking opportunity and employment. Agricultural disasters had resulted in crop failure, famine, and loss of farm work between 1840 and 1870. In the United States, Norwegians could seek employment in industry, as well as seek farm land. Early groups of Norwegians settled in Illinois and then spread to Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas, where the Homestead Act gave them access to land.
In the 1860s, a handful of Norwegian immigrants to Iowa who were followers of the State Church in Norway, or the Norwegian Synod, tried to develop a system of parochial schools where they could teach all of the subjects, including religion and the Norwegian language, as a way of maintaining Norwegian identity. The idea, however, was not popular with the people in the Norwegian Synod's church congregations because they preferred to send their children to the "common schools" or public schools to learn English and American ways. This school building, the Rovang School, was one of three Norwegian parochial schools built to provide part-time religious education in the Norwegian language. The school was built in 1880 and served as a parochial school in rural Decorah for about four decades.
|Lesson Supporting Question||How does understanding the Norwegian immigrant life explain Iowa policies and issues?|
This lesson plan will analyze Norwegian immigration and the effect this had on Iowa policy and issues.
|Primary Sources Used|
Documents at the end of uploaded original lesson plan
|Lesson Themes||Cultural Events, Immigrants|
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|Author||Kylie Kozelka||Reviewer||Dr. Lisa Millsaps, University of Northern Iowa||Created||04/15/2019||Last Edited||08/22/2019|
|Lesson Plan Development Notes: Teaching Methods, University of Northern Iowa, Fall 2018|