Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Pioneering the Upper Midwest

[Detail] An advertisement from The Minnesota guide. 1869

Historical Comprehension

The narratives of this collection recount events; disclose individuals' thoughts, feelings, and intentions; tell stories; and portray a time period. As such, they afford users of the collection a multifaceted and thorough understanding of a variety of topics. For example, Tracks and Trails, depicts frontier life in the second half of the nineteenth century. Use this text or pick a similar topic and narrative, and begin an inquiry with the following questions:

  • How does the author think or feel about his life on the frontier? How can you tell?
  • What are the major events of the narrative? How do they comprise a story? What does the way the story ends suggest about living on the frontier? What do other events in the story suggest?
  • What do the descriptive details in the text tell you about frontier life?
  • How do you think you would have liked living on the frontier in the nineteenth century?