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The Schoolhouse Blizzard

On January 12th in 1888, residents of the Northern Plains woke to a relatively warm day, with temperatures at or above the freezing mark, which was considered warm in that part of the country in mid-January. It was the calm before the storm; however, as a blizzard was fast approaching that would provide a deadly end to the unseasonably warm weather. By the end of the next day, hundreds would be dead, many of them schoolchildren, as the fast moving storm trapped many students in schoolhouses or buried them in snow as they tried to reach home.

In this mini unit, learn all about the Schoolhouse Blizzard, including eyewitness accounts, details on the weather system that caused it, see how it compares to other deadly winter storms, watch a video describing the storm, view a timeline of events and participate in a wide variety of learning activities about the deadly weather event.


The Midwest’s “Weather Playground” Turns Violent

The Children's Blizzard of 1888

List of Worst Winter Storms in the U.S.


Minnesota’s Deadliest Blizzards (video)


The Schoolhouse Blizzard Curriculum Unit

Heroes of the Children’s Blizzard Activities


The Schoolhouse Blizzard Timeline

Recommended Resource

The Children’s Blizzard

That 1888 January day on the northern plains was bright and warm–the first mild weather in several weeks–leading many children to attend school without coats, boots, hats, or mittens. A number of students were caught in the sudden storm that hit later that day. Laskin details this event–the worst blizzard anyone in those parts ever encountered. It not only took the lives of hundreds of settlers, but also formed a significant crack in the westward movement and helped to cause a movement out … A gripping story, well told. (School Library Journal)

Author: David Laskin
Amazon Price: $10.87

Read more about the book: Here


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