Music that Built the West

Resources for Educators

Scroll down to find two lesson plans related to our website. One lesson focuses on digital scholarship and guides students through the kinds of digital research that took place to create this exhibit, and the other focuses on the significance of women’s contribution to Frontier Music. Lessons could be used together for an entire hour-long class centered on the exhibit or as separate smaller assignments. 

Digital Humanities

Exploring Digital Archives Lesson Plan

Length of Activity: 20 minutes

Learning Goals:

  • Learn what a digital archive is
  • Learn what the Library of Congress Chronicling America Archive is and how to navigate it
  • Learn how to construct a historical narrative from several different newspapers
  • Learn why digital archives like the one from the Library of Congress are important to researchers. 

Suitable Age Range: Grades 7-12


This activity is a self guided tour through the Library of Congress Chronicling America Archive that gives students an opportunity to explore a digital archive first hand. The activity guides teach them how to navigate the website, enter search terms, and notice patterns in search results. First, it asks students to spend ten minutes exploring the exhibit. Then, students are asked to redirect to the Battle of the Bands portion of the exhibit. From there, students click on the third article down to enter the Chronicling America Archive. Using the format of Battle of the Bands as a guide, students explore how researchers use digital archives and how they identify patterns that may be interesting to research. At the end of the activity, students are given free time to explore the remainder of the website or conduct additional searches on Chronicling America. The entire activity is hosted through an ARC GiS story map, which allows for independent navigation


Activity and Lesson Plan Coming Soon.