Dorothy Fry Arbuckle
Social Studies: History
Dorothy Fry Arbuckle
wrote two novels regarding early life in Indiana, The After
Harvest Festival and Andy’s Dan’l Boone Rifle.
These novels discuss what it was like to be a pioneer, including
the relationship between Native Americans and pioneers. They also
discuss the abundance of wildlife that lived in the area, and how
the population of animals lessened because of trapping.
The purpose of this lesson plan is to make a connection between
Indiana’s environment and literature, and to give students
a view on early life in northwest Indiana.
1) To explore natural disasters, including forest fires, floods,
2) To explore the wildlife that is now extinct
or extirpated from Indiana.
3) To explore the relationship between pioneers and Indians.
4) To explore the habitat known as the “Great
This is intended to be a five-day lesson plan that helps students
connect Indiana’s environment and literature.
First, determine the students’ pre-existing knowledge of
the pioneers. Ask the students to share what comes to mind when
they hear the word “pioneer,” and keep track of their
After getting responses from the students, begin the lesson on
pioneers and early settlers in Indiana.
Discuss with the students:
1) The various reasons that people began to move west.
2) Factors that led some pioneers to settle in the Indiana territory,
such as the river
systems located there.
3) The pioneers’ attitudes toward the wilderness.
4) The relationship between the pioneers and the Native Americans.
Read aloud the first two chapters of The After Harvest Festival.
After today, the students will be responsible for reading the remainder
of the novel for homework. Nightly assignments will be different
for every class, depending on the grade level.
Discuss the various aspects of daily life of the Native American
tribes that used to live in northwest Indiana and that are discussed
in the book.
1) Miami tribe
2) Pottawatomie tribe
Determine the students’ pre-existing knowledge of natural
disasters. This will help you decide how extensive the lesson should
Discuss how each of the following natural disasters occurs, and
its effect on wildlife and their habitat:
1) Forest fires
Creative writing: Have the students write a short essay detailing
their thoughts of what was read in class the previous day, including
the daily life of pioneer children vs. a typical day in their own
Discuss with the students the various environmental habitats of
the Great Marsh, including the Kankakee River, the wetlands,
and the prairies.
Library time: Split the class into groups and give the students
time in the library to research the Native American tribes that
lived in Northwest Indiana. This will lead to activities on days
four and five of the lesson plan.
Activity #1: Based on the research done on day three, students
will use Popsicle sticks to make a Native American dwelling.
Discuss the species mentioned in the book that are now extinct,
endangered, or extirpated from Indiana.
4) American Bison (“buffalo”)
Library time: Take the students to the library to finish their
research for the activity done on day five.
In their groups, students will give a short oral report on what
they think may be a typical day in the life of Native Americans,
based on their research.
After a short review, have the students write a poem on one of
the extinct, endangered, or extirpated species of Indiana.