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William Allen White and the Reform Era

Guided tourRed Rocks State Historic Site, Emporia

GradesSeventh and eighth

William Allen WhiteThis guided tour provides an opportunity for middle school students to experience the home in which many reformers visited William Allen White and his family. 

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.

Commercial Street, Emporia KS - 1910

Kansas History, Government and Social Studies Standards

Standard #2 Individuals have rights and responsibilities

  • 2.1: The student will recognize and evaluate the rights and responsibilities of people living in societies.

Standard #3 Societies are shaped by beliefs, ideas, and diversity

  • 3.1: The student will recognize and evaluate significant beliefs, contributions, and ideas of the many diverse peoples and groups and their impact on individuals, communities, states, and nations.

Kansas College and Career Ready Standards

  • SL 7-8. 1: The student will engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade 7-8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

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 redrocks@kshs.org. Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.

Other guided tours available at the Red Rocks:

Hats Off to William Allen White - Red Rocks

Taking a Stand - Writings of William Allen White