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History of Mormons in America

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Cultures +1 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

This collection of artifacts, photographs, texts, and historical markers is intended to help students explore the history of the Mormon religion in America.

Each of these items is intended to spark inquiry, following the process below:

  1. Students should choose one artifact on which to focus.
  2. Have them use the artifact analysis PDF (last resource) to begin their study of the artifact.
  3. Next, have students generate questions about the artifact? What do they wonder about? What does it tell them about the Mormon religion or its history within the United States?
  4. Have students complete some general research on their artifact that will help their classmates piece together the story of the Mormon experience.

As a collaborative project, students should use the PBS Forced Migrations map/timeline as a model for a class map/timeline of their own.

  1. Project an image of the map on a class whiteboard or create your own basic outline using large paper.
  2. Have each student present their research findings. The main questions they should answer are: What does it represent about the Mormon experience? Where would the artifact they chose be placed (geographically and in terms of chronology)?
  3. Students should then place place their image on the map with significant dates noted.
  4. After all groups have presented, review the narrative of the Mormon experience with the class. What would they identify as critical moments in Mormon history? What questions do they still have?
Tags: religion, Moroni, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Mormon, New York, Utah, Illinois, gold plates, inquiry

10 Dollar Coin, United States,1849 (Utah-Mormon)

National Museum of American History

Mormon Trail Memorial, (sculpture)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Mormon Battalion Memorial, (sculpture)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Handcart Pioneers, (sculpture)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Brigham Young

National Portrait Gallery

Joseph Smith

National Portrait Gallery

The Mortal Moroni, (sculpture)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Sunstone Capital

National Museum of American History

(Temple Reliefs), (sculpture)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

The Angel Moroni, (sculpture)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Plate

National Museum of American History