4th Grade Utah History Library Lesson: "An Outlaw Thanksgiving" by Emily Arnold McCully
4th Grade Utah History Library Lesson Plan Summary:
Subject: Read Aloud of An Outlaw Thanksgiving by Emily Arnold McCully + Companion Material
Curriculum Connections: (4th Grade) Utah History: Utah Outlaws, Utah Homesteads/Counties, Utah Railroads, Western Expansion
Group Size: 15-35
Authors: Emily Arnold McCully (Book), Wendy Belcher (Lesson plan)
Background for Teachers
The following resources will help you teach this topic:
- Library of Congress: “Correct Map of the United States showing the Union Pacific, the overland route and connections” https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3701p.rr005970/?r=-0.151,-0.041,1.303,0.815,0
- From the Union Pacific website: “UP End of Track Dateline, 1865f-1869 - historic construction timeline of the original Union Pacific overland route” PDF version available for download. https://www.up.com/aboutup/reference/maps/
- Graph detailing mileage travelled by railroad in Utah 1840-2017 https://www.american-rails.com/ut.html
- eMedia link: Utah History Encyclopedia, Union Pacific Railroad
- Robert LeRoy Parker = Butch Cassidy, cowhand, train robber, cattle rustler
eMedia link: Utah History Encyclopedia. Cassidy, Butch https://s3.amazonaws.com/uen.oercommons.org/equella/052876d6-0464-2982-748d-7c21f045f400/t_000378.pdf
- Harry Longabaugh = Sundance Kid, cowhand, train robber, cattle rustler
- Anne Bassett = Queen Ann, rancher’s daughter, alleged cattle rustler (tried but acquitted)
- Legends of America website: a short biography of Ann Bassett https://www.legendsofamerica.com/anne-bassett/
- Archived article from December 20, 2014 about Ann Bassett, written by Eileen Hallet Stone, special contributor to the Salt Lake Tribune. https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=1971717&itype=CMSID
- BLM website: link to info about the John Jarvie Historic Ranch https://www.blm.gov/learn/interpretive-centers/john-jarvie-historic-ranch
- eMedia link: Utah Place Names, found on eMedia, Jarvies Canyon (named for John Jarvie)https://s3.amazonaws.com/uen.oercommons.org/equella/45b29a60-b59d-0421-da4a-fe8f2d461592/t_003193.pdf
- eMedia link: Utah History Encyclopedia. Browns Park https://s3.amazonaws.com/uen.oercommons.org/equella/08c65235-a93f-b2c1-f83e-ba6ddf3a3841/t_000357.pdf
- eMedia link: short video showing a Steam train, some narrative of the history.
- “The Atlantic” magazine website link: A brief history and analysis of Railroad Monopolies:
Student Prior Knowledge
Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of basic Utah history (define: “Railroad Tycoons” or “Robber Barons” & “Outlaws”, “cowhands”) and Northern Utah Geography (UT, WY, CO border & Ogden Railroad Depot). A basic explanation of the greed and unfair employment and business practices of the Railroad Tycoons will help students understand in better context the romantic and positive portrayals of train robbers like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Real life connection: Have any of the students gotten stranded on I-80 in a snowstorm? Some may know exactly what it is like.
Student Learning Intentions & Success Criteria
Make connections between this historical fiction picture book story and Utah history and geography.
Students will be able to share verbally in small or large discussions or in writing at least 3 text to history/geography connections they have made.
- Introduce Title, Author, Copyright date, and Publisher pointing out at appropriate moments the information on the front cover, publication info page, and title page.
- Point out the information on the spine label and how it directs students to the picture book section and “M” shelf of the library. That is where they will find this book. Also explain that in the library catalog, this book will have a call number listed as “PIC M”, which means “Picture Book Section”, “M” shelf.
- Read the story
- Read the Author’s note in its entirety if time allows. If not, focus on the following:
- Paragraph 3: on Railroad Tycoons and Robber Barons
- Paragraph 4: on Butch Cassidy and Ann Bassett, highlighting that this is “Historical Fiction.” The characters of Clara and her mother are fictional. All others are historically documented. The story is based on a firsthand account as told by Ann Bassett. Since the story was related verbally by Bassett to the Maybell, Colorado Women’s Clubs, who would re-create the event. There is no primary source written by Ann Bassett.
Strategies for Diverse Learners
Consider using alternate options for measuring success for those who might do better with a verbal assessment rather than a written one.
Option 1: Students will demonstrate that they have made successful connections to the
text through a post reading discussion and answering some verbal questions.
Option 2: Students will demonstrate that they have made successful connections to the
text by participating in a “shoulder share” with one of their neighbors, in which they will develop a list of three connections to Utah history and geography that they recognized in the story.
Option 3: Students will demonstrate that they have made successful connections to the
text by writing in a journal or filling out a short exit ticket where they will list 3
connections they have made.