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Exhibit Lesson/Activity Ideas: Northwest Territory

Lesson Plans and Activities that support the Pioneer History Exhibit

Northwest Territory

Virtual Exhibit: Northwest Territory


3rd Grade Standards:

  • Theme: Communities: Past and Present, Near and Far
  • Strand: History
  • Topic: Historical Thinking Skills
    • Content Statement 1: Events in local history can be shown on timelines organized by years, decades, and centuries.


4th Grade Standards:

  • Theme: The United States
  • Strand: History
  • Topic: Historical Thinking Skills
    • Content Statement 1: The order of significant events in Ohio and the United States can be shown on a timeline.


American History Standards:

  • Theme: United States History 1877-Present
  • Topic: Founding Documents
    • Content Statement 5: The Northwest Ordinance elaborates on the rights and role of the people in building the foundations of the American nation through its establishment of natural rights and setting up educational institutions.

Northwest Territory Timeline

After viewing and discussing the exhibit, students can put the following events in chronological order. They can use this timeline creator from Read Write Think below or a paper copy of the timeline, also linked below. You will need to make sure the Adobe Flash Player is updated to use the RWT timeline creator.

Place the following events in the correct order:

Northwest Ordinance is passed.

Anthony Wayne defeats the Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

Tecumseh loses the Battle of Tippecanoe.

Marietta is the first settlement founded in the Northwest Territory.

The Ohio Indian Wars Begin.

The American Revolution ends.

The Treaty of Greenville ends the Ohio Indian Wars.

The War of 1812 begins.

Ohio becomes the first state created from the Northwest Territory.

Fort Harmar is built where the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers meet.


Timeline Creator

Northwest Ordinance: Rights and Freedoms

Northwest Ordinance Text

Northwest Ordinance Activity

  1. What civil liberties and rights of the people are provided by the Northwest Ordinance? Select three of these civil liberties and rights that you think are the most important. Why, in your opinion, are they more important than the other liberties and rights?

Use the graphic organizer attached below to interpret passages of the Northwest Ordinance into your own words.

Northwest Territory Infographic

Use information from the Northwest Territory panel of the exhibit or from additional texts to create an infographic about the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. There are several websites that provide infographic templates, including Canva, Venngage, and Piktochart. Microsoft Word also has infographic templates.

A PDF of this infographic is linked below.


Additional Information Sources on the Northwest Ordinance of 1787:

Northwest Ordinance of 1787- World Book Online (You will need to be logged in on InfOhio to access World Book)



Northwest Territory Map

Students can label and color the Northwest Territory on the map linked below.