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Lesson Plan

"Licensed" to Drive: Old West Figures

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"Licensed" to Drive: Old West Figures

Grades 6 – 10
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Patrick Striegel

Patrick Striegel

Tolono, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology






  • Art materials for license making, such as construction paper, glue, markers, etc.
  • Computer access for research (optional)
  • Notebook, binder, or loose paper for notetaking

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  • New Perspectives on the Old West - People

    This PBS website offers a list of links to short biographies on notable western figures.  This is great place to start because the articles are short and contain the most important information about the characters.

  • Factcite

    This is a subscription database that useful articles on figures during western expansion.  The reading level is appropriate for middle schoolers and students are allowed to use the images in their projects.

  • Factmonster

    This is a safe search engine that allows the user to do people and biography searches.

  • Legends of America

    This website is useful because it categorizes the figures into their importance making it easier for the students to find what type of person they are interested in.  This site also has its own search sites.

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  1. Gather copies of books or print sources that the class could use for their Old West Figures.  Be sure to review the sources to ensure that they are appropriate for the students use.  Please see the Old West Resource List.
  2. Check the provided Websites to ensure that all are appropriate for students' use.
  3. Make copies of all handouts students will need: Old West License Project Guide, Old West License Rubric, Old West Peer Review, Old West Figure List.
  4. Gather art materials for the project (construction paper, glue, markers, etc.).

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