Utah Centennial Studies

Utah Centennial


by Sheri Sohm and Mari Domanski


For nearly fifty years, Utahans struggled to achieve statehood. After only a couple of years in the valley, the Utah delegate to the National Congress was instructed to apply for statehood. Caught up in the Compromise of 1850, Utah became a territory of the United States, but Statehood was denied. Again in 1856, the plea for statehood fell on distrustful ears, and Johnston's Army was sent to Utah instead. During the Civil War, when others were trying to get out of the Union, Utah renewed its efforts to get in. The struggle was long and frustrating. Only after considerable compromise and earnest efforts was Utah Statehood achieved on January 4, 1896.

Now, in 1996, Utahans will celebrate 100 years of statehood. Quite naturally, Utah schools will be a center of much Centennial activity. Teachers in various grades will discover an opportune moment to teach about our heritage. As an aid in the effort, the lesson plans in this volume fill an important need. Teachers will find useful information and innovative approaches to use when discussing the Centennial.

The lessons were developed with the help of a grant from the Utah Statehood Centennial Commission; actual work was performed under the direction of the Utah State Board of Education and the Utah Heritage Foundation to whom the grant was awarded. Nancy M. Mathews and Michael S. Leventhal provided leadership to the project and the initial ten plans were developed by Sheri Sohm and Mari Domanski. Utah teachers added more lessons which were edited by Ms. Sohm and Ms. Domanski. Centennial education in the state is the beneficiary. Undoubtedly, additional ideas for promoting the Centennial in the classroom will emerge as the Centennial year draws near. The Commission Office Invites educators throughout the state to share these ideas by sending them to our office. The result will be a splendid expansion of historical understanding as Utah celebrates its 100th birthday!

By Kim R. Burningham, Director
Utah Statehood Centennial Commission

Introduction and Acknowledgment

The Utah Centennial Studies lessons were developed as a collaborative project between the Utah State Board of Education, the Utah Heritage Foundation and Bureau of Land Management through a grant from the Utah Statehood Centennial Commission.

The purpose of the project was to provide teachers with creative, innovative lessons on a wide variety of Utah history topics and issues. Ten lessons were developed initially by two exemplary teachers, Mari Domanski and Sheri Sohm. They were reviewed and edited by Michael Leventhal, Executive Director, the Utah Heritage Foundation, Jeanne Moe, Specialist, Bureau of Land Management and Nancy N. Mathews, Specialist, Utah State Board of Education. The initial lessons were printed by the Utah State Board of Education. A teacher workshop was held on October 15, 1994 at the Third Annual Governor's Conference on History and Heritage to acquaint teachers with the materials. Lessons were demonstrated and modeled to participants. Participants attending the workshop were encouraged to submit additional lessons for their final product for the publication. Several educators submitted lessons which were reviewed by Ms. Domanski and Ms. Sohm. The publication now contains twenty lessons ranging from process centered instruction to community based learning: from Utah's rich historical past to our present statehood centennial celebration.

The lessons can be adapted for students at any grade level. Teachers are encouraged to develop their own additional lessons and are encouraged to submit lessons to the Utah Statehood Centennial Commission. One copy of the publication will be distributed to each school throughout the state and additional copies can be obtained from the Utah Statehood Centennial Commission.

The project would not have been possible without the efforts and support of many people. Particular thanks is extended to the Utah Statehood Centennial Commission for funding the writing and initial printing. Special commendation and thanks to the steering committee composed of Michael Leventhal, Jeanne Moe, Nancy Mathews, Mari Domanski and Sheri Sohm.

Special thanks to the Utah State Board of Education, Division of Agency Services for their contribution to the cost of printing the publication.


Lesson Plans

A Day In The Life Of Children: Then And Now
by Mari Domanski-adapted from lesson submitted by Sonya Nelson
The daily activities of children show the culture of the time.
A Patchwork Quilt..People of Utah
by Mari Domanski
Individual contributions and the complete picture are all seen from valuable perspectives.
Adaptation...Mammoths To Man
by Mari Domanski-adapted from a lesson by Dennis Dooley
All creatures respond to their environment and ecosystems for survival success.
But Mom, I Have Nothing To Wear
by Sheri Sohm
Clothing styles reflect time, place, and culture.
Ghost Riders And Rest Stops
by Sheri Sohm
The need to communicate has caused many programs and systems to be invented. Communities come and go as human needs change.
Have I Got A Story For You: Folklore of Utah
by Mari Domanski
The tales, legends, and traditions we pass to one another are also sources of history.
Home Sweet Home
by Mari Domanski
Homes are a tangible record of culture.
Hunt For The Blind Miner's Mine
by Sheri Sohm
Authentic documents connect education to the real world and encourage curricular integration.
Mystery History: The Old Utah State Prison
by Sheri Sohm
People, places and things have a history that is not always apparent.
NIMBY...Settlement...This Is The Place
by Mari Domanski
Settlements are not static, they evolve.
Once Upon A Time...Buildings Tell A Story
by Mari Domanski
Changes in buildings reflect the changes of their setting.
Philanthropists: Servants Of The Community
by Sheri Sohm
Community minded citizens can make a lasting difference. Everyone can serve their community in some way.
Schools: Then and Now
by Sheri Sohm
Schools reflect the culture of the time.
Secrets From Beyond...Stories Headstones Can Tell
by Mari Domanski
History can be found in many places.
Simple Gifts...Personal Contributions To Utah
by Mari Domanski
What people in Utah give when they give of themselves.
Symbols of Utah
by Sheri Sohm
Symbolism brings to mind facts, feelings, emotions, and events.
This I Value...Hidden Treasures
by Mari Domanski
Treasures can be found everywhere.
Utah We Love Thee
by Sheri Sohm
Music inspires and educates.
What A Woman...The Silver Queen
by Sheri Sohm
History contains the stories of men, women and children. Biographies and personal histories add to the understanding of a time and place.
What's In A Name: UTAH
by Sheri Sohm
History is constantly redefined.

Developed through a grant from the Utah Centennial Commission in cooperation with Utah Heritage Foundation and Utah State Board of Education. Funding for World Wide Web publishing from the Utah Education Network.