Lesson Plan - Get It!
The Wild West has long since been settled and the frontier has been closed. What are the frontiers of modern times? Who are the heroes of these new frontiers? Who "boldly go[es] where no man has gone before?" (Apologies to Gene Roddenberry)
Every nation has its myths and legends, stories rooted in the true or not-so-true past that relate the ideas and ideals that people hold dear.
America has its own national myths and legends, and amongst the greatest of them is the myth of the frontier. The American frontier was the mythic place out at the edge of civilization where men of great courage struck out in search of fortune and adventure — that’s how the story goes, anyway.
The frontier moved ever more westward as the boundaries of the United States pushed farther towards the Pacific coast. Even though the frontier was effectively closed with the incorporation of the western states into the nation, the frontier lives on, immortalized in so many stories, books, images, and films.
One of the great and early heroes of the American frontier was the intrepid adventurer, Daniel Boone. Read more about the life of Boone and how he became a larger-than-life legend. As you read about the life of Daniel Boone, courtesy of A&E Television Networks, LLC, locate and write down answers to the following questions:
- Where was “the frontier” located in Boone’s time?
- What great accomplishments might have made Boone seem like a great hero?
- What life events remind us that Boone was, in some ways, really an ordinary man?
Record your answers to the above questions, then share your responses with your parent or teacher and discuss the following questions:
- Why are legends like the American frontier and Daniel Boone important to a society?
- What values and ideals do you think are communicated by these legends?
- What are some of the dangers of mythologized stories like that of the American frontier?
In some ways, the stories of Daniel Boone are timeless, because in every human era we find adventure tales of heroes like Boone.
In the Got It? section, analyze one episode from the many stories of Boone’s heroism: the suspenseful story of his daughter’s abduction and rescue.