Goals and Objectives--Grades 3 - 5
Voices and Choices--Patty
Note: It is a good idea to print
Level One for easy reference.
Patty Sessions is a Mormon midwife who is forced
to flee her home in Nauvoo along with her husband and hundreds of
other Mormons in the dead of winter. She must decide whether to
purchase needed household goods with the money she has earned as a
midwife or to donate it to the Mormon church.
These themes can be explored with either a social studies or
language arts curriculum. Use these themes to tie in other
resources to your class discussion, i.e., other books, other
cultures, students' own lives.
- Religious Diversity as defined by one's belief system
and how one sees the world; one's perception of God and how to
- Intolerance and the destructive effect it has upon a
- The importance of community in helping individuals
survive the hardships of frontier life
These questions, which come at the end of each story (minus "the
answer"), can be used to start class discussions or be assigned as
Why did Patty Sessions and her husband leave Nauvoo, Illinois,
for Salt Lake City, Utah?
The Sessions left Nauvoo to avoid persecution. When the Mormons
founded Nauvoo, they received permission from the state government
to have their own courts and a militia that was independent of sate
control. As the Mormon city grew to be the largest in the state,
the Mormon vote was powerful enough to sway state elections.
Nauvoo's non-Mormon neighbors resented the Mormons' prosperity and
questioned their patriotism. This resentment peaked with the mob
action of 1844, which resulted in the deaths of the two Mormon
leaders, Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
Even after their leaders had been killed the Mormons in Nauvoo
continued to work on their temple. What do you think temples and
Temples and churches are physical manifestations of people's
religious beliefs and faith. They are also places where people can
assemble as a community. Patty donated her hard-earned money to
build these temples, showing her commitment to both the Mormon
faith and her fellow Mormons.
Why do you think Patty was called Mother Sessions by her
friends and neighbors?
As a midwife, she was a care-giver to all those in her
Patty chose to buy a stove, are there other items she might
have needed on her journey west? Can you list them?
- Look at objects and Clues to the Past to learn more about the
types of household goods available to people in the 1800s.
If you had to pick the five most important household objects in
your house, what would they be?
Help students define which things have practical importance and
which objects have nostalgic importance.
These are suggested classroom activities and student projects
that you may want to use with your students or as models to create
1. Creating a Collage
Create a collage illustrating Patty Session's story
- Collaborate on a web diagram to determine the different
elements that could be included in a collage--from winter scenes to
2. Creating a Memory Box
Pretend you are moving to a new city or town and create a Memory
Box of objects that will help you to remember the people and places
you are leaving behind.
- Web Diagrams
- Memory Boxes
3. Planning a Trip
Patty Sessions travelled from Illinois to Utah. Her journey took
almost a year, from 1846 to 1847, and was made mostly on foot.
Plan a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, from your home town. You
can travel by car, bus, train, or airplane. Some of the resources
you might need are: a road atlas, a train schedule with trainfare
information, and flight schedules and ticket prices for different
Below are links to three well-known airplane companies and Yahoo's
search engine allowing you to select other airplane companies. Look
for headings like "Flight information," "Flights," or "Flight
schedules" for information on departure dates:
- Write a report of your journey: what route will you take, how
long will it take, and how much will it cost to travel to
- When you get to Salt Lake City, where will you stay and what
will you do? You might want to consult travel guides and hotel
brochures as part of your report.
- Decide what you will take on this trip in terms of clothing and
gear. Can you find out what the weather will be like in Salt Lake
City during the time of your trip?
- As a class, compare each other's trips. Put them on a graph to
see which journey takes longest, which is the quickest, and which
is the most expensive.
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