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Virtual Pioneer Day Ideas

Pioneer Day is a fun day of hands-on learning about life as an Ohio pioneer. Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the typical Pioneer Day experience will be offered to third graders by individual educators and parents. Though these activities are listed on other pages of this website, the Delaware County Historical Society suggests the following programs and activities that fit the Ohio Department of Education's Third Grade Learning Standards in Social Studies, English Language Arts, and the Visual Arts to guide educators' and parents' planning. 

Third Grade Learning Standards 

Social Studies

The local community serves as the focal point for third grade as students begin to understand how their communities have changed over time and to make comparisons with communities in other places. The study of local history comes alive through the use of artifacts and documents. They also learn how communities are governed and how the local economy is organized.

Content Statements:
1. Events in local history can be shown on timelines organized by years, decades, and centuries.
2. Primary and secondary sources can be used to show change over time.

Content Statements:
3. Local communities change over time.

Content Statements:
4. Physical and political maps have distinctive characteristics and purposes. Places can be located on a map by using the title, key, alphanumeric grid, and cardinal directions.


Content Statements:
5. Daily life is influenced by the agriculture, industry and natural resources in different communities.


Content Statements:
6. Evidence of positive and negative human modification of the environment can be observed in the local community.
7. Systems of transportation and communication move people, products and ideas from place to place.
8. Communities may include diverse cultural groups.

Social Studies Programs and Activities

Then and Now

The city of Delaware, Ohio was established in1808 just five years after Ohio became a state. By 1808, numerous people lived in town and there were essential businesses. Since that time, the city has grown and changed quite a bit. Think about some of the changes since you were little. Many stores have come and gone, and new ones established. What else has changed over time?

Travel back in time as you view these slides. Put on your thinking cap and figure out where these businesses are and what business stands there today.

Have fun!       P.S. You may need the help of a parent or grandparent to discover the locations.

 How might you show changes that have happened over time in your neighborhood or perhaps, in your family? Create a poster with old photos of your family. Next to the old photos, show the same person as they are today. For extra fun, cover the new photo with a Post-it or small piece of colored paper that can be flipped up to show the people, then and now, in the photos.

Slideshow is  HERE.

What is an Artifact? presented by Diane Williams

This video was created by the Delaware County Historical Society for teachers and families to use while schools are closed and learning at home is in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the at-home version of our Ohio Department of Education standards-based "What Is An Artifact?" program geared toward 1st-4th graders. Feel free to use it with our slide presentations and lesson plans below. 

What is an Artifact Safe YouTube Link Here

Artifact Cart Grade 3 (Grades 1 and 2 Artifact Carts are available on the Artifact Cart Page)

                                           * Grade 3 Artifact Cart PowerPoint Presentation with audio

                                                   Click on the paper clip to open in PowerPoint.

                                           * Grade 3 Artifact Cart Slides Presentation-

                                                    (Slideshare-same program but without the audio)

                                           *  Grade 3 Artifact Cart .pdf with Speaker's Notes

                                           *  Grade 3 Artifact Cart Lesson Plan with extension activities and rubrics.pdf

"From Slavery to Freedom"     This program is available to schools and home school programs at no cost until June 2021.

                                                       Watson  Walker is available to lead the program and answer questions about this period in                                                                                             Delaware County history.

                                                       Contact Watson Walker at the Historical Society to schedule an in-person program at                                     

                                               .   Press here for the Safe YouTube link.


Underground Railroad Local Driving Tour

                                     Local Driving Tour of the Underground Railroad Houses

                                           **Note that these homes currently are private residences. Please respect their property and                                                           privacy as you tour the county. 

                                              Teacher’s Guide here

Other Excellent Underground Railroad Resources: 

(Clicking on these links will take you out of this website to the identified websites)


  • Journey to Freedom National Geographic   Grades 1-2     Grades 5-8                                                                                                                                                 How to use the National Geographic Journey to Freedom game resource -grade 8                                                                                                                                Journey to Freedom Teacher Packet Grades 6-12

Delaware County Timelines

                                                   Delaware County History Timeline

                                                   This interactive, Google Slides timeline has links that allow the viewer to follow Delaware County's                                                            history. Events are color-coded for Early People and American Indians, Early European Settlers, and                                                        African Americans. Slides are here.

                                                             Please open and click on PRESENT in the top right corner to see the presentation properly and to have active links. 

                                                             To download and share, you will need to "Save a Copy" to your own Google Drive.


                                               Prehistoric and Early Historic American Indians Timeline

                                                         A brief listing of important peoples and events in Delaware County.

                                                          Download the timeline here.



                                               Cultural Communities of Delaware County  1770-1850 

                                                         A brief listing of important peoples and events in Delaware County.

                                                          Download the timeline here.

                                                Student Created Timelines

                                                Students learn to create an interactive timeline. More information HERE. 

                                                          ***Google Slides also allows students to link one statement or image to another slide.


                                                           Students can create their family timeline.  More information HERE.

Early American Indians in Ohio


                                                          One State-Many Nations-Prehistoric Ohioans

                                                    This short video briefly describes where and how the early Ohioans lived. 

                                                    Safe YouTube video link is HERE. 




Virtual Early Ohioans

Delaware County Historical Society YouTube Video List

                                                              The Delaware County Historical Society produced numerous videos on a wide variety of topics related                                                                            to our our county history. A complete list of our available videos is found HERE.

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Ohio History Connection's website introduces us to archeology and seven groups of early Ohio cultures.  Virtual Early Ohioans.

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"Early Schools in Delaware County"   Presented by Sherry Carmichael, Powell Liberty Historical Society


                                                       Mrs. Carmichael relates stories and artifacts from the early school days of Delaware County and Liberty Township. 


                                                       History of Early Schools video by Sherry Carmichael here

                                                      Rural School near Milton, North Dakota, 1913 Miss Margaret McKay, teacher external. Fred Hultstrand History in  Pictures Collection. Digital Horizons: Life on the Northern Plains                                                                                             External. North Dakota State University Libraries, Institute for Regional Studies


19th and 20th Century Games  Recess was a part of the school day even in the 1830s. What game might you play during recess?

                                                          A list of pioneer games is HERE. 

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The Little Brown Jug      What is a Pacer? Well, I am not thinking of a student at a Delaware city school but rather, a                                                                                  racehorse. Delaware, Ohio is the home of the Little Brown Jug harness race. A pacer is a Standardbred                                                                     horse that runs with a specific gait. 

                                                  Find out more about The Little  Brown Jug, harness racing, pacers, horse sculptors and crafts HERE.

                                                   Harness Racing Silks Coloring Page      Curly Smart       Little Brown Jug Math Activities                                                                             Little Brown Jug Winnings Recent Years

Beside Our Springs and Streams      Stories of the Native Americans and Early Settlers of Delaware County by Brent Carson                                                                                                  Available at the Delaware County Historical Society Museum Store


English Language Arts Learning Standards

Reading Standards for Literature K–12

RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

RL.3.7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., emphasize aspects of a character or setting).

RL.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2–3 text complexity band independently and proficiently. Activate prior knowledge and draw on previous experiences in order to make text-to-self

Reading Standards for Informational Text K–12

RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers

RI.3.7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text 

Writing Standards K–12

W.3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
a. Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.
b. Provide reasons that support the opinion.
c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons.
d. Provide a concluding statement or section.

W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
a. Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations to aid comprehension, if needed.
b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.
c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information.
d. Provide a concluding statement or section.


Family Journal

Do you keep a journal? Journals are books where you can write about your life, or in this case, things happening with your family. You can tell a story, write a poem, draw out an event, or paste papers like a letter or ticket stub. Any book will do. You can buy one or make one, in fact, bookbinding is an art. Talk with your family and tell your story. You might start by writing about what your family has been doing during the Coronavirus-19 Pandemic. 

Suggestions on what to write, making your own journal, and historical diary entries are here.

From a diary during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. by Violet Harris, 15 years old:

                 " It was announced in the papers tonight that all churches, shows and schools would be closed until further notice, to prevent Spanish influenza from spreading. Good idea? I’ll say it is! So will every other school kid, I calculate. … The only cloud in my sky is that the [School] Board will add the missed days on to the end of the term."

Sound familiar?

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Family Stories

Encourage your students to explore and write family stories. Students will write questions and interview a family member. In addition to writing the stories shared by their relative, the student will ponder and write their reactions to the story. 

More information HERE.

Travel Brochures

Challenge your students to create a travel brochure of Delaware County. As a pioneer, what would they write about the county to entice others to move here? How might this travel brochure look different than a brochure that touts today's county? More information HERE.

Letter Writing 

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Can you imagine life without telephones, email, or ZOOM calls?  In days gone by, people communicated through letter writing. Have you received a letter or package in the mail? Opening the mail can be the best part of the day. If you wrote a letter, to whom would you mail it? Write a letter to a friend or family member and mail it through the U.S. Postal Service.


What are the parts of a letter and how do you address an envelope? Find an instructional worksheet HERE.

Reading List

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Who Came Down that Road? by George Ella Lyon

Cabin on Trouble Creek (novel) by Jean Van Leeuen

“After clearing enough forest to build a log cabin for their new home (in Delaware County near Radnor,                    known then as Delhi), Pa returns east to fetch the rest of the family, while young brothers Daniel and Will                stay behind to watch the land. Pa had planned to return within six weeks . . . but something must have gone          wrong. Now the boys must survive the winter with only a few supplies and their ability to invent and                        improvise. But are they alone in the woods?”

Jean Van Leeuwen’s engrossing novel of pioneer survival is based on a true incident in Delaware County history.

Included in all the 3rd grade Teacher Tote Bags.

  • Check-out at the Delaware County District Library

  • Order at Bean Bag Books

  • Purchase on Amazon 

Ohio History in Children's Literature: Fiction and NonFiction Resources

Looking for reading material related to Ohio history? Download this select list of novels, historical fiction, nonfiction, informational text, picture books, and poetry. There are links to numerous web resources including from the Ohio Historical Connection, the Smithsonian, and the National Park Service. 

Ohio History in Children's Literature .pdf

More information on this page:

Visual Arts Learning Standards

1PR Demonstrate skill and expression in the use of art techniques and processes.

Find and solve problems of personal relevance and interest when developing artmaking ideas.
4PR Create artworks that demonstrate awareness of two- and three-dimensional space.
5PR Show increasing attention to the nuances of elements and principles of design when creating personal works of art.

4RE Identify artworks from their communities or regions and communicate how they reflect social influences and cultural traditions.

Apple Head Dolls


Imagine living in Delaware 200 years ago. What would you do during the day? Most likely, you would attend school and do chores to help your family. Sound familiar? What toys would you have? Pioneer children didn’t have a lot of toys and would use natural resources found nearby such as nuts, twigs, corn husks, corn cobs, wood, and gourds were used to create their toys. Native American Indians taught many early settlers how to make apple head dolls. One such example is the apple head doll. Let's make an apple head doll!  

More information here

Directions here or here.



Early settlers wove their clothes and coverlets. First, sheep were shorn, wool was carded (cleaned), dyed, and spun into yarn before the yarn was woven into an item. 

What can you weave and how do we weave? 

Word Search More info.

Sheep, wool, natural dyes, and weaving information here. 


These resources have been gathered by current and retired educators who are members of the Delaware County Historical Society. We hope that you find this information useful. 


The Delaware County Historical Society is supported by dues, grants, donations, and volunteers. We welcome your help with any of our worthwhile projects:

Donate money


Become a member

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