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Heritage: Pioneer Job Application

Time Frame

4 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size





The students will write a job application letter for a job of the pioneer era, either specifically for Utah and the West or for any job current in America at that time.


Access to library and/or research lab.

Background for Teachers

The teacher needs to know job titles and functions of jobs that existed 150 years ago.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will write the job application letter and also better understand the nature of work in pioneer times.

Instructional Procedures


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Ask students, 'Are there any jobs in the world today that didn't exist 150 years ago?' Then ask, 'If there are jobs that exist now that didn't exist 150 years ago, can you think of any jobs that existed 150 years ago, but are not needed in today's world?'

Introduce lesson by discussing jobs that exist now which didn't 150 years ago, and those which don't exist now which may have been necessary 150 years ago.

Create a list together in class (or the teacher could pre-search these to ensure a significant list) of existing jobs in pioneer days.

In library or research lab have students discover the details of a daily job in mid- to late-nineteenth century America: skills needed, pay given, education required, apprenticeship time, working conditions, etc.

Following research, teach the elements of a good job application letter.


Students could conduct job interviews with each other for various jobs which they have researched, making up lists of appropriate questions for the job, posting job notices on the bulletin board, and both interviewing and being interviewed for several of their interest.

Assessment Plan

Grade the application letter on neatness, zero mistakes, proper form, adequate information, accuracy of information for the specific job.

Created: 04/15/1997
Updated: 02/02/2018