12 Dear Annie

Competencies: Social Studies, Civics, History

Civics 1.1.1: Understands the key ideals of unity and diversity.

Civics 1.1.2: Understands and applies the key ideals of unity and diversity within the context of the community.

History 4.2: Understands and analyzes causal factors that have shaped major events in history.

CBA: Humans and the Environment


Objective: Students brainstorm possible solutions to problems that Native Americans and early settlers faced in the Issaquah area.

Materials: list of problems (see attached, print and cut into strips, one problem per strip), pencil, paper


  1. Discuss two or three of the difficulties early settlers and Native Americans faced in the late 1800’s.  As a class brainstorm possible solutions.  Here are several examples::
    • Our family wants to build a homestead in the Issaquah area but we can’t decide where the best location would be to set up our farm.  We are considering the top of the hill, next to the lake, or in the valley.  Where would you suggest building?
    • This winter is unusually cold.  I am concerned that my livestock (cows, sheep and horse) will get too cold in the barn.  What do you suggest I do to keep them warm and safe?
    • The settlers keep coming into our hunting and fishing areas.  They are building farms, cutting down the trees and mining in the hills.  I am concerned that they will scare away all of the wildlife and we will lose our good hunting grounds.  What should I tell these strangers that keep moving in to our woods?
  2. Explain to the students that the early settlers and Native Americans have written some of their problems and are asking advice on how to solve the problems.  Their job is to respond with suggestions. They will be “Annie,” the columnist who gives advice.
  3. Copy the list of problems on the following page and cut them into separate strips of paper (one problem on each piece of paper).
  4. Put students in partners or small groups.  Students draw one strip of paper with the problem written on it.  Read the problem to the students and make sure they understand the problem.  Together, they apply their knowledge of historic circumstances to create viable solutions to the problem.
  5. Students respond orally or with short written replies.
  6. As a follow up lesson, students can write their own letters, posing problems, exchange letters, and again, respond with a solution.
  7. As a conclusion to the activity, compare the resources that were available to the early settlers and Native Americans and resources that are available to us now.  Discuss why some problems that were serious then are no longer problems for us today.


Activity 12 (DOC)
Activity 12 PDF)
Questions for Annie

Return to Activity Guide