Teaching Cleveland
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High School Edition: 9-12

Lesson 44

The Flats of the 1990s - From Settlement to Development


Students will understand the current development of the Flats through the reading and analysis of a short history and timeline from 1796 to the 1990s.



  1. What is the "Flats?"
  2. What is the significance of the Flats to Cleveland?
  3. How has the Flats changed over 200 years?


  1. Survey students on their knowledge of the Flats. Begin by asking students if they remember where Moses Cleaveland's first surveying party landed? Where did the first settlers build their homes? Display a map of Cleveland and ask students to identify the areas. Ask them what this area is called today. Then ask how many have been in the Flats? Why did they go to the Flats? What did they do in the Flats? How did they get to the Flats?
  2. Announce to students that they are going to play a trivia game about the Flats, but they will first have an opportunity to research the information. Divide students into cooperative groups. Distribute Handout #1, #2, #3 to each team and enough copies of Handout #4 for each member of the team. Students should be allowed sufficient time to complete the research questions.
  3. When all teams have completed the information, begin the game.


The object of the game is to get your ship to the mouth of the Cuyahoga River first. Each team may choose a name for their ship and must choose a ship captain. Ships will move through the Cuyahoga River as they correctly answer questions about the Flats. Teachers will need pieces of paper numbered 1 - 20 for students to pick out of a bowl for the questions they will answer and a copy of the River Game Board for each team or copied on a transparency, to keep track of team progression through the river.

  1. Have teams draw numbers for player position.
  2. Each team in order, picks a number from the box that corresponds with a number on the teacher's question sheet.
  3. After the teacher asks the question, teams have 5 seconds to answer the question correctly. The first person from the team to raise their hand will answer the question. If they answer the question correctly, they move ahead on the river one space. If they answer incorrectly, the team will remain on space 1. However, once the team begins to move toward the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, it will move back one space for every incorrect answer given.
  4. When a ship lands on a FATE space, the ship captain will choose a number between 1 and 10. The teacher will read a brief description of something that has happened to the ship as it moves through the river. There are 6 good things and 6 bad things that could happen, and 3 neutral things. When a FATE number has been chosen, all players on the teams should cross out that number at the bottom of the map. FATE numbers may only be used one time, however, the FATE space is used as many times as a ship lands on it.
  5. The winner of the game will be the first ship to reach the mouth of the Cuyahoga River.

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