Michigan Studies

The History of Michigan

Students learn how to identify primary and secondary sources. They study American Indian cultures in Michigan and the People of the Three Fires. They investigate other American Indians and learn about American Indian cultures in Michigan today. Students examine how early Michigan residents used, adapted to, and modified the environment. They explore the movement of both the French and British into Michigan, learn about the fur trade, and examine the impact of European exploration on native cultures. An emphasis is placed on the identification of the causes and effects of historical events. Students learn about early pioneer life in Michigan and explore the challenges faced by early settlers. They write a historical narrative about pioneer life in Michigan, create a timeline, learn how Michigan became a state, and learn the influence of several individuals in Michigan history. Students also participate in the creation of a ‘People Timeline’ of early Michigan history. They explore how Michigan’s location and natural resources influenced the growth of the state when they learn about the lumbering and mining industries. Next, students explore the growth of manufacturing in Michigan, how natural resources influenced the location of businesses, and consider how the move from farm to factory affected the growth of cities. The unit concludes with an exploration of the automobile industry in Michigan. They use Henry Ford as an example of entrepreneurship and construct a historical narrative. They look at the impact of migration on Michigan’s development and examine the push and pull factors of migration. In doing so, they learn about a variety of cultural groups found in Michigan, discuss Michigan’s cultural diversity, and explore the benefits of that diversity.

1.     Thinking Like a Historian
2.    American Indians in Michigan
3.    Traditional Stories of Michigan Indians
4.    The French in Michigan
5.    The British in Michigan
6.    Migration and Settlement in Michigan
7.    Becoming a State
8.    Creating a Timeline of Early Michigan History
9.    Economic Growth: How Natural Resources Influenced the Development of Michigan
10.  Manufacturing: Putting Resources to Work in Michigan
11.  The Automobile Industry
12.  Migration to Michigan: Push and Pull Factors 

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