High School

High School

To help meet the high school course requirement, the North Dakota Studies program at the State Historical Society of North Dakota provides a print-based textbook titled North Dakota History: Readings about the Northern Plains State and an accompanying teacher resource guide to help teach the geography, history, and agriculture of the state. Online primary document sets are also available to supplement the North Dakota History textbook.

The North Dakota Studies program also publishes and offers Governing North Dakota, 2013-2015, and offers an online study of the history and culture of North Dakota’s four tribal nations.


North Dakota History: Readings about the Northern Plains State is primarily intended as a high school textbook and is designed to promote and encourage a better understanding of the state’s history.


The content in North Dakota History has been collected from more than 100 years of articles published by the State Historical Society of North Dakota. This anthology is enriched with several first-person accounts that invite readers to listen to one person’s experience at a particular time in North Dakota’s past. In addition, more than 340 historical photographs of events, places, people, and objects bring the past into clearer perspective.


The articles presented in North Dakota History are grouped into seven units arranged in chronological order. Each unit is introduced by a narrative that briefly develops the outline of important events of that era in state history.

Primary Document Sets

Primary document sets, designed to accompany and supplement North Dakota History, are designed to enhance the study of the history of North Dakota from the pre-historic era to the present.

A new textbook, titled North Dakota History, was published in 2008 to support the study of this state at the high school level. The textbook is an anthology of articles from North Dakota: Journal of the Northern Plains that present an overview of the state’s history.

This web site, designed to accompany the textbook, presents primary documents that enhance the study of the history of this region from the pre-historic era to the present. Primary sources are first person documents, often created by people who were present at the event. These might include letters, diaries, official reports, photographs, maps, or artifacts. Each of the primary sources presented in this web site tells a story of the way the people who lived here brought about changes in their economic activities, social relationships, and political structures.

The documents included here represent only a small portion of the materials held by the archives and museum of the State Historical Society of North Dakota. These primary sources were selected because they offer details about events that happened here, or events, such as international wars, in which North Dakotans participated.

This web site is organized to match the chronological divisions of the textbook. Each unit corresponds to a unit in the textbook. Teachers can choose one or more document sets from each unit to use in conjunction with the textbook. Each document set has a brief introduction which places the documents in historic context. Activities associated with most of the document sets encourage students to develop skill in the interpretation and collecting of historical events as well as competence in both critical and historical thinking. More documents will be added to this digitized collection in the future.

Teacher Resource Guide

Teacher Resource Guide is available to accompany North Dakota History. The purpose of the Teacher Resource Guide is to assist the teacher in teaching about North Dakota History. It is intended to be interdisciplinary and to act as a guide to supplement other activities that may be used in the classroom.

Governing North Dakota 2015-2017

Governing North Dakota, 2015-2017 is a collaborative publication of the North Dakota Studies program and the University of North Dakota’s Bureau of Governmental Affairs. This biennial textbook is intended to provide up-to-date information about North Dakota’s governmental system and includes updates from the 2013 North Dakota Legislative Assembly.

Governing North Dakota, 2015-2017 is an especially valuable guide to teaching about the relationship between state and federal governments and the three branches of North Dakota government. Knowing that all government is local, considerable discussion is also provided on county, city, township, and special governmental units.

Teacher Manual

The purpose of the Teacher Manual is to assist the teacher in teaching Governing North Dakota, 2015-2017. It is intended to be interdisciplinary and to act as a guide to supplement other activities that may be used in the classroom. Chapter worksheets, and the accompanying answer key, are also available in CD-ROM format.

North Dakota Indian Studies

To promote a better knowledge and understanding of North Dakota’s four tribal nations, online curriculum guides have been developed to present the history and culture of these Indian nations.

The guides are intended to serve as a resource about these four tribal nations, from their origin to contemporary society.  The material presents a generalized overview about tribal history, traditional and contemporary governments, demographics, cultures, and creation narratives for each tribal nation.

The online content is presented with the hope that readers will develop a better understanding about the people at Standing Rock, Spirit Lake, Turtle Mountain, and the Three Affiliated tribal nations.

ND Studies Content Standards

Documents On Page

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