Iowa Past to Present

Iowa Past to Present Online Teacher's Guide

Browse the links on this page or select a chapter from the list below for related content and classroom resources.

Chapter 5: Pioneer Life on the Prairie


The first job for the earliest settlers on the Iowa prairie was to build a house. If there was enough wood, they would build a log cabin. Otherwise, they learned how to make a snug sod house. There were few stores where pioneers could buy supplies, so families had to make or grow almost everything they needed. First the pioneers had to break the prairie sod. Then they planted crops to feed the animals that fed the family. Later on, they raised extra crops and animals for sale. Although pioneer life in Iowa was hard, it was not lonely. Farms were close together and a good deal of visiting went on.

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Suggested Classroom Resources and Lesson Plans


Iowa Past to Present Chapter Listing

This online teachers guide was developed as a companion to the textbook Iowa Past to Present: The People and the Prairie (Revised 3rd Ed.); written by Dorothy Schwieder, Thomas Morain, and Lynn Nielsen; published by University of Iowa Press. Select a chapter from the list below to find related content and classroom resources.



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