William Allen White and the Reform Era
Guided tour—Red Rocks State Historic Site, Emporia
Grades—Seventh and eighth
As a pre-visit social studies lesson the teacher is provided with the Read Kansas! lesson "Meet the Reformers". This lesson features William Allen White and four fellow reformers: Mary Elizabeth Lease, Samuel Crumbine, Kate Richards O’Hare, and Charles Sheldon. Students learn about the work of each of these Kansans and how they attempted to correct the perceived wrongs of the time. The conclusion of this activity has the students conducting a "Meet the Press" interview session.
An additional pre-visit activity is “reading” a photograph of Commercial Street, Emporia, KS. Through this activity the students will have developed an idea of life in a city in Kansas in the early 1900’s. Producing a bio-poem is a suggested post-visit assessment piece.
The tour involves students with a time line of major events that occurred during White's life from post-Civil War until World War II. Hands-on items from the time of White's life in Emporia are available to the students for close examination. The visit to the house brings the students to a location where history was made.
- Benchmark 4, Indicator 4: The student understands individuals, groups, ideas, events, and developments during the period of reform in Kansas (1880s - 1920s).
- Benchmark 7, Indicator 3: (A) The student uses at least three primary sources to interpret the impact of a person or event from Kansas history to develop an historical narrative.
Common Core ELA Standards
- RH.6-8.7: The student will integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
- WHST.6-8.4: The student will produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Cost per student is $2. One adult enters free for every 10 students. Additional adults pay the student rate.
Admission scholarships: School groups from Lyon, Osage, and Coffey counties receive free admission for this guided tour courtesy of the W.S. & E.C. Jones Trust grant. For more information see tour scholarships for Red Rocks.
Length of tour: approximately 75 minutes.
Number of students in a group: for the best experience, we recommend approximately 30 students per tour.
Registration and scheduling: Contact site administrator, 620-342-2800; or e-mail email@example.com. Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
Other guided tours available at the Red Rocks: