Meet Kansas Territorial Characters
Guided tour — Constitution Hall State Historic Site, Lecompton
Grades — 7th-8th
Your students will travel back in time to meet some of the "Territorial Characters" of the Kansas territorial period. This unique hands-on learning experience allows students to become reporters for frontier newspapers. They will read primary sources documents and see a live performance featuring reenactors portraying famous Kansans of the territorial days. The young reporters then will have the opportunity to interview the actors who will remain "in character" after the performance ends.
The one-hour performance portion of the tour is set in an 1850s Kansas territorial political town hall meeting. Actors from the Lecompton troupe will portray some of the famous Kansans from that turbulent time period known as "Bleeding Kansas" Join Charles Robinson, Sara Robinson, James Lane, John Brown, Clarina Nichols, Samuel Jones, David Atchison, and Andrew Reeder as they passionately express their feelings on the issue of slavery in Kansas, both pro and con. The program also includes a visit to Constitution Hall State Historic Site.
This tour addresses grade specific standards and provides pre- and post-visit material to help teachers fulfill those standards. Included in the pre-visit materials is the Read Kansas! lesson Territorial Characters.
History: Benchmark 2, Indicator 3: The student will retell important information about eight people who made significant contributions during the Kansas territorial period (1854-1861).
Common Core Reading:
RI 7.1: The student will cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Cost per student is $3. One adult enters free for every 10 students. Additional adults pay the student rate.
Length of tour: approximately 1.5 - 2.5 hours for the performance, student interviews of the territorial characters, and visits to Constitution Hall State Historic Site and the Lane Museum.
Number of students in a group: For the best experience, we recommend no more than 80 students for the performance and guided tours.
Registration and scheduling: Contact Site administrator, 785-887-6520; Constitution Hall. Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.