FREE - Homestead Act of 1862 (6th-12th grades)

by  Homestead National Historical Park

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The Homestead Act of 1862 had far reaching impacts on the
United States including western expansion, immigration, technological
innovation, transforming the Great Plains into the “Bread Basket of the World”,
and forever altering the way of life of American Indians. In this lesson
students and a park ranger will explore the history leading up to the Homestead Act of 1862, examine the requirements for making a claim and receiving a patent, and think critically about the far reaching impacts of this significant piece of legislation.

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About This Program


Multipoint: $0.00
View Only: 0.00
Point to Point: $0.00
By Request: $0.00


Homestead National Monument of America appreciates cancellations within 48 hours. If a program is cancelled, every effort will be made to reschedule it.


30-35, but program can be modified to fit any schedule

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:

There is no maximum number of participants, however groups of 20-30 are preferred for more interaction.

Primary Disciplines

Foreign/World Languages, Health/Physical Education, International, Language Arts/English, Literacy, Mathematics, Problem Solving, Reading, Sciences, Social Studies/History, Technology/Information Science, Writing

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)


Booking Information

During the months of September, October, April and May the times available for programs will be reduced as the park is heavily involved with on-site field trips during these months. However, please contact us as we may have days/times available that can work for your classroom.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Homestead National Monument of America appreciates cancellations within 48 hours. If a program is cancelled, every effort will be made to reschedule.

About This Provider

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Homestead National Historical Park

Beatrice, NE
United States

The Homestead Act of 1862 transformed the world. Millions were invited to file claims including, families, immigrants, single women, and freed slaves. Over 10 percent of the United States was homesteaded! The land, long inhabited by American Indian cultures, changed forever. Homesteaders created settlements and farms, drove industrial advancement, and built our nation chasing the American Dream.

Education Program Specialist

Program Details


1. This program begins with a brief introduction to the National Park Service for first time students of our programs.
2. A discussion is held on where the United States acquired all the land it gave away under the Homestead Act of 1862.
3. The impact the Civil War had on the passage of the Homestead Act.
4. What were the requirements of the Homestead Act.
5. What were the impacts of the Homestead Act-with a video.
6. Summary and questions.


The participant will:
- explore the impacts of the Civil War on the Homestead Act of 1862.
- develop an understanding of the requirements of receiving Free Land under the Homestead Act of 1862.
- engage in discussion about the affects of the Homestead Act of 1862.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.10.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11.1 through 3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.12.1 through 3

Understand the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth's surface.
Understand the processes,patterns, and functions of human settlement.
Understand how the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth's surface.

Understand how human actions modify the physical environment.
Understand how physical systems affect human systems.
Understand the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources.

Understand how to apply geography to interpret the past.
Understand how to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future.

NSS-USH.5-12.4 ERA 4: EXPANSION AND REFORM (1801-1861)
Understands United States territorial expansion between 1801 and 1861, and how it affected relations with external powers and American Indians.
Understands how the industrial revolution, increasing immigration, the rapid expansion of slavery, and the westward movement changed the lives of Americans and led toward regional tensions.

Understands how the rise of corporations, heavy industry, and mechanized farming transformed the American people.
Understands massive immigration after 1870 and how new social patterns, conflicts, and ideas of national unity developed amid growing cultural diversity.
Understands Federal Indian policy and United States foreign policy after the Civil War.