Organization and Subject Matter Overview with Goals and Objectives

During the unit the main overall question that will be answered is: “Why did the Mormon pioneers come to and settle in Utah?” To support this main theme the NCSS strands that will be emphasized are “Culture”, “People, Places and Environments” and “Individual Groups and Institutions”. The goals for the unit come directly from the NCSS performance standards and are listed in the table below. All three of these performance expectations will be addressed across the four week period. The objectives for the unit are also outlined in the chart below and come from the Utah State Core and are aligned with the lessons.

This unit is organized in chronological order beginning with the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and ending with the members of this church finding a new home in Utah and building cities and communities. The unit will be geared at making the information relevant to the students and will include inquiry based assignments where the students will be working in groups to research topics in depth. The curriculum will be integrated with Language Arts, Reading, Art and some Math, so a two to three hour block per day will be needed to facilitate the lessons. The classroom will need to be set up so that groups can easily work together with enough space. The students will be making a large map of the movement of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints across the country, so there will need to be a bulletin board available. Also the students will be working on various art projects throughout the unit so a space to display this art work would be ideal.  Also below is a plan for a classroom arrangement to facilitate this unit.



Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four


- Beginning of the church

- Palmyra to Kirtland /    Missouri

- Missouri to Nauvoo

- Building and life in Nauvoo

- Persecution in history

- Crossing the Plains to Utah

- Settling in Utah, building cities, farms and communities

NCSS Standards

I c. Explain and give examples of how language, literature, the art, architecture, and other artifacts, traditions, beliefs, values and behaviors contribute to the development and transmission of culture

III g. Describe how people create places that reflect cultural values and ideals as they build neighborhoods, parks, shopping center, and the like;

V b. Analyze group and institutional influences on people, events and elements of culture

Utah Objective

Standard 1 Obj. 1 - Identify factors that contributed to the development of the land

Standard 1 Obj. 2 – Identify the first settlers to Utah – Identify important historical sites and historical figures


Standard 2 Obj.1 – Determine reasons for immigration to Utah

Obj. 2 – Describe how various groups interact to create community roles and traditions


Standard 2 Obj. 2 – Describe how various groups interact to create community roles and traditions

Standard 4 Obj. 1 – Show appreciation for the uniqueness of other cultures – Demonstrate respect for cultural differences.

Learning Activities

- Do a KW about who are the Mormons, and why did they come to Utah

- Learn about the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

-Moving from New York to Ohio and Missouri

-Start class map of church movement

- Mini lesson on the culture in Nauvoo

- Time to work on two art projects and writing project


- Have a mini lesson about the church members stay in Winter Quarters –add to map

-*Introduce “Packing a Wagon for Utah” lesson

- Divide class up into “families” for each wagon

- Presentations from base groups about other persecutions in the world

-* “Journal Writing” lesson about the importance of journals in history

- Each day from here to end of unit students write a daily journal entry

- Lesson on the mob activity that eventually killed Joseph and Hyrum Smith and then to the church members deserting Nauvoo

-* Class time to meet as “families” and decide what to pack for the trip to Utah

- Learn about the extermination order and the church members moving from Missouri to Illinois

- Continue of the map of the church’s movement

- *“Persecution in History” A lesson on other persecutions that have taken place through history


- Class time for base groups to continue on research and presentation

- A lesson on the church members arriving in Salt Lake Valley – Add to and finish the map

- Mini lesson on newspaper articles – students write an article about the arrival to the valley

- Art project using watercolors to depict saints moving

- Students form base groups of two or three to research and learn about another group that has been persecuted

-Compare and contrast with the Mormons

- A lesson about trail life on the way to Utah, with an emphasis on what it was like for children

- Add the important sites to the map

- Learn about how Brigham Young laid out the cities and the church members starting farms right away

-*A Street of My Own” lesson with art and writing project

- Talk about the church members beginning in Nauvoo –draining swamps, disease etc.

- Time for base groups to continue research and to develop a way to share the information with the entire class.

- Art lesson about pencil drawings e.g., shading, shadows etc.

- Students draw a depiction of trail life using pencils

- Last chance for students to work on research project

- Have a lesson about how Brigham Young soon was sending church members all throughout the west to live and settle


* These lessons can be found in the Learning Activities Bank

Bulletin Board


Teacher Desk




Art table and supply area










Reading Rug with pillows








White Board


Artwork display


Bulletin Board for Map



Classroom Arrangement