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The Many Faces of Chimney Rock

 Lesson Plans

Grade: 5 - 8

Time: Three 50-minute class periods

Lesson Introduction: Students will compare and contrast images of Chimney Rock that are a part of the Nebraska Western Trails project.


Nebraska Social Studies:

8.1 United States History

  • By the end of eighth grade, students will describe growth and change in the United States from 1801-1861.
  • By the end of eighth grade students will explain post Civil War changes in the United States, and the role of the United States in world affairs through World War I.

8.4 Skills

  • By the end of eighth grade, students will demonstrate skills for historical analysis.
  •  By the end of eighth grade, students will improve their skills in historical research and geographical analysis.

AASL/AECT Information Literacy:

  1. The student who is information literate accesses information efficiently and effectively.
  2. The student who is information literate evaluates information critically and competently.
    2.1 Determines accuracy, relevance, and comprehensiveness.
  3. The student who is information literate uses information accurately and creatively.
    3.1 Organizes information for practical application.
    3.2 Integrates new information into one's own knowledge.
    3.3 Applies information in critical thinking and problem solving.


  • Strengthen critical observation skills.
  • Gather and analyze data from photos and form generalizations.




  1.  View the images of Chimney Rock at the Nebraska Western Trails Project. Click on Collections, select either: Sketches of Chimney Rock, Postcards of Chimney Rock, or Paintings of Chimney Rock. Photographs of Chimney Rock can be accessed by clicking on Photos, and then clicking on Photographs of Chimney Rock.
  2. Students will analyze the images using the U.S. National Archives & Records Administration Photo Analysis Worksheet.


  1.  Finish viewing and analyzing images.


  1.  Using a T Chart students will chart the similarities and differences of the images.
  2.  Students will then complete the Chimney Rock Analysis Follow Up Worksheet. Students may need to research Chimney Rock before completing this worksheet.


Extension Activities:

  1.  If students have difficulty comparing images online, print sets of images for them to use.
  2.  Students could create Power Point presentations of the images chosen as the most alike and most different.
  3.  Ask students to bring in photos they or their family have taken of Chimney Rock. Have students analyze them.

Chimney Rock Analysis Follow Up

Answer the following questions:

  1.  Why are there so many different views of the same landmark?
  2. Why did all the artists see the same landmark in such different ways?
  3. Which art form seems the most reliable? Why?
  4. Which two images seem the most alike?
  5. Which two images seem the most different?
  6. Have you ever seen Chimney Rock? If so, which image is most like what you saw?

Please send comments to Kay Paulsen.

For more information, contact Devra Dragos.