Lesson Plans

Life as An Early Orange Grower

Grades 6-8
Subject Social Studies
Sunshine State Standards S.S.A.6.3 - knows how the environment of Florida has been modified by the values, traditions, and actions of various groups who have inhabited the state.


What was life like for the pioneer settlers of Florida? Using the short story "Orange Hummock" and the Warner Letters, students will write a journal of a week in the life of young person whose family has an orange grove in the late 1880s in Central Florida.


  1. Students will use primary source materials to find clues to pioneer life and the early citrus industry in Central Florida.

Materials and preparation

Materials for Journal:

  • Paper
  • Pens/crayons for coloring
  • Found materials for covers/pages (pressed leaves or flowers, wallpaper, etc.)


  1. Have students read short story and then discuss as group.
  2. Read Warner correspondence together as a group. Teacher should provide background and relate to unit lessons. Clarify any unfamiliar terms or concepts with students.
  3. Have students break into small groups to brainstorm ideas for journals.
  4. Assign deadline for students to turn in Journal drafts and final product.

Extension Activities