The Great Plains
A reading comprehension lesson on the Great Plains, Americas last major frontier. Includes printable teaching lesson worksheet.
• Students will be able to identify the geographical location of the Great Plains.
• Students will be able to state the time period during which the Great Plains were settled.
• Students will be able to describe life on the Great Plains.
• Students will be able to explain why the Great Plains were so difficult to settle and why people left.
• Students will be able to describe the Great Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889.
4th Grade - 5th Grade - 6th Grade
Print the reading comprehension passage and questions (see below).
Students should read the passage silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as part of a classroom lesson plan.
The Great Plains is the area in the middle section of the United States. It is a large, flat area with few trees, short grass and sizzling heat in the summer months. In the winter, the temperatures are freezing, and tornadoes are common. Rainfall on the Great Plains is less than ten inches per year. Located west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains are spread out over the states of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Because of the harsh conditions on the Great Plains, there were not many pioneers willing to settle in this region. In fact, after the prairies to the east of this region were settled in the early 1800's, pioneers moved over the Great Plains to settle on the west coast of the country. By 1860, the Great Plains was the only large area in the United States that was still not settled. There was also a small area of unclaimed land that would become known as the Oklahoma Territory.
Print this printable worksheet for this lesson: