CURRENT HOURS: Closed for touring until May • Open for special programs by reservation

Connections to Iowa Academic Standards

School experiences at Living History Farms support and enrich Iowa Academic Standards. While our primary focus is on social studies and history, our content addresses many subject areas. By connecting your experiences here to the Iowa Core in the classroom, you will make the most effective use of the time you spend with us.

interpreter w visitors at 1700 Ioway Farminterpreter cooking in cabin at 1850 Pioneer Farminterpreter w horses at 1900 Farmview of 1876 town of Walnut Hill from road
1700 Ioway Farm 1850 Pioneer Farm 1900 Horse-Powered Farm 1876 town of Walnut Hill

Space and Place: Impacts of Geography


  • SS.K.15. Explain why and how people move from place to place.
  • SS.K.16. Distinguish at least two related items or events by sequencing them from the past to the present.
  • SS.K.17. Compare life in the past to life today.
  • SS.K.19: Compare and contrast local environmental characteristics to other parts of the state of Iowa.

FARMS: Students will learn how the land shaped lives in the past and compare them to our life today.

TOWN: Students will explore spaces for work, home, school, and fun in our 1876 town and compare them to spaces today.

Communities and Culture: Connections Between People in Iowa


  • SS.1.19: Compare how people in different types of communities use goods from local and distant places to meet their daily needs.
  • SS.1.21: Compare life in the past to life today within different communities and cultural groups, including indigenous communities.
  • SS.1.23. Describe the diverse cultural makeup of Iowa’s past and present in the local community, including indigenous and agricultural communities.

FARMS: Each farm represents a distinct community and culture. Inhabitants produced farm products for larger groups. How did they raise crops and livestock? How did that change or stay the same over time?

TOWN: How are communities in the past similar to, and different from, communities today? Students will learn how townspeople were connected to the larger world. They will visit tradespeople in Walnut Hill to learn about goods and services they provided.

Choices and Consequences: How Decisions People Make Impact Iowa’s History


  • SS.2.12: Identify how people use natural resources to produce goods and services.
  • SS.2.17: Explain how environmental characteristics impact the location of particular places.
  • SS.2.18: Describe how the choices people make impact local and distant environments.
  • SS.2.24: Describe the intended and unintended consequences of decisions about using Iowa’s natural resources.

FARMS: Students will learn what choices farmers faced about the use of the natural resources and how every choice had a consequence.

TOWN: Students will learn about the jobs people did in a rural community. Jobs consume resources. How did the people who worked and lived in 1876 make choices about what to do?

Immigration and Migration: Why People Move into, out of, and Around Iowa


  • SS.3.16. Describe how people take risks to improve their family income through education, career changes and moving to new places.
  • SS.3.25. Explain probable causes and effects of events and developments.
  • SS.3.27. Analyze the movement of different groups in and out of Iowa, including the removal and return of indigenous people.
  • SS.3.28. Explain the cultural contributions that different groups have made on Iowa.

FARMS: Students will learn how and why people moved throughout history. The Ioway were mobile. Pioneers moved from somewhere else. The farm family in 1900 was part of a larger farm community. The food and products these farm families produced also moved. How did the Ioway get metal tools? Where did the pioneer family purchase a plow? How did the farm family in 1900 sell their livestock?

TOWN: People continually moved into and out of Iowa towns like Walnut Hill. Why? Where did families like the Flynns and Tangens come from? Goods and products these people made also went somewhere. Where, how, and why? How did businesses like the General Store, Drug Store and Implement Dealer get products to sell?

Change and Continuity: Farming and Rural Life in Iowa


  • SS.4.12. Using historical and/or local examples, explain how competition has influenced the production of goods and services.
  • SS.4.23. Explain probable causes and effects of events and developments.
  • SS.4.25. Analyze the impact of technological changes in Iowa, across time and place.
  • SS.4.26. Explain how Iowa’s agriculture has changed over time.

FARMS: Students will learn about the origins of their food as they travel through 300 years of farm history. They will also learn about work that must be done to raise crops and livestock for food, and how that work has changed over time.

TOWN: Like us today, townspeople in 1876 went to work and school, lived in homes, and played games. But change was all around them. The Industrial Revolution brought countless changes to daily life. Students explore these changes and how life continued, adapted, and responded.

Rights and Responsibilities: Examples over Time in Iowa


  • SS.5.13. Describe how goods and services are produced and distributed domestically and globally.
  • SS.5.20. Analyze how rules and laws encourage or restrict human population movements to and within the United States of America.
  • SS.5.26. Analyze Iowa’s role in civil rights history

FARMS: Every family member had a responsibility on the farm. Students will learn about children’s responsibilities. They will also learn how farmers throughout history have tried to be good stewards of the land by using the information available to them to make the most of the resources around them.

TOWN: Students will explore the rights of townspeople in the past. Who could vote? Who could own land? Were children required to go to school? Students will also learn how tradespeople produced goods, and how those goods were distributed.

World Regions and Cultures: Iowa’s Historical Connections to the World


  • SS.6.13. Identify what makes up a culture and examine how people acquire their cultural beliefs and value systems.
  • SS.6.17. Analyze and explain the cultural, physical, and environmental characteristics of places and regions and how this affects the life of the people who live there.
  • SS.6.23. Compare Iowa’s geography, natural resources, and climate to other regions of the world.

FARMS: People who farmed and lived in Iowa in the past were connected to the larger world. Students will learn how these connections influenced and changed lives. They will also learn how Iowa’s unique physical characteristics played a huge role in how people lived.

TOWN: Connections to the larger world are all around the 1876 town of Walnut Hill. Students will learn about these connections and their impact on daily life.

Global Studies: Iowa’s Impact on Global Issues in History


  • SS.7.17. Describe the roles of political, civil, and economic organizations in shaping people’s lives.
  • SS.7.18. Explain and evaluate how economic decisions affect the wellbeing of individuals, businesses, and society.
  • SS.7. 19. Explain how external benefits, costs, supply and demand, and competition influence market prices, wages, and outcomes.
  • SS.7.27. Analyze the role that Iowa plays in contemporary global issues.

FARMS: Students will explore the challenges faced by people in three different time periods, and how those people responded. They will search for examples of migration at the 1700, 1850, and 1900 farms. They will also explore the challenge of raising food to feed people.

TOWN: Students will learn how globalization affected the townspeople of 1876. Examples of a global economy are present in every building in town.

U.S. History and Civics: Iowa’s Place


  • SS.8.15. Evaluate how economic decisions affect the wellbeing of individuals, businesses, and society.
  • SS.8.18. Explain how the physical and human characteristics of places and regions influence culture.
  • SS.8.19. Explain how push and pull factors contributed to immigration and migration in early American history
  • SS.8.20. Explain how global interconnections influenced early American history.
  • SS.8.25. Examine the evolution of the function and structure of government in Iowa

FARMS: Students will learn about the role of government in agriculture. In 1700, how did the Ioway govern themselves? In 1850, what role did government have in settling Iowa? In 1900, how did government affect the daily lives of farm families?

TOWN: Students will learn about local, county, state, and national government, and the role townspeople played at each level. How did government affect the daily lives of these townspeople?

GRADES 9­–12
By course

Customize your visit! We can match your learning objective to the tour, whether it is U.S. government, history, economics, or another course.

Living History Farms’ educational philosophies

The best learning is:

  • Experiential
  • Personal
  • Relevant
  • Passed on
  • Shared and social
  • Ongoing
  • Most of all, FUN!

Email Living History Farms’ Education Department at if you have questions on how these programs fit into other areas of the Iowa Core Curriculum.


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