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Interpreting the Evidence

Map of the Niagara River Whirlpool, c. 1900

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Turn of the Century and WWI (1890 - 1930)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:


  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:

    Western New York
    New York State

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Map of the Niagara River Whirlpool, c. 1900 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Map of the Niagara River Whirlpool showing the directional flow of the river and the relief of the surrounding land, circa 1900.
Essential Question
How does geography impact culture and economic systems?
Check for Understanding
Summarize the information contained in this map and explain the influence of this water feature on New York's culture and economy.
Historical Challenges
Sometimes the water in the Niagara Falls Whirlpool flows clockwise. Why doesn't this map show the water flowing clockwise?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Draw what the Niagara River would have looked like if the glacier had caused a 45° turn rather than a 90° turn. Do the same for a 180° turn and a 270° turn.
Science: Research the impact that glaciers have had on various land formations in New York State and the United States. Name three major land formations.
Science: Research the flow of water through the Whirlpool. Why does the water flow in a circle? How does it get out of the Whirlpool?