Salt Lake City, Utah

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Social Studies

Grade 3- 5


Students will learn about the history of the city where the 2002 Winter Olympic Games are scheduled to take place.


In the Past
Salt Lake City was founded in 1847 by Brigham Young and many of his Mormon followers. In the mid-1800s the city became a supply depot for the pioneers who were traveling to California. The area also had a strong mining industry and later developed railroads that helped the city to become a business hub in the West.
Salt Lake City Today
Salt Lake City (located in the western United States) is the largest city in Utah. According to the 1990 census, its population was 159,936. The city is located in a valley surrounded by the Wasatch and Oquirrh mountains.
Salt Lake City is the world headquarters of the Mormon church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). The Mormon Temple and the Mormon Tabernacle are located in the center of the city.
The University of Utah and Westminster College are located in Salt Lake City. It is also the home of many cultural groups, such as the Utah Symphony Orchestra, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and several ballet and opera companies.
Salt Lake residents have a variety of sports teams to follow, including the Utah Grizzlies (hockey), the Utah Jazz (NBA), the Utah Blitzz (soccer), and the Utah Starzz (WNBA).
Outdoor activities are also extremely popular in the area. Within 50 miles, there are four ski resorts, including Solitude, Brighton, Snowbird, and Alta. These areas are frequented in the summer months as well for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing.

  1. Have your students research Salt Lake City's past, searching for information about the city's agricultural and mining industries, as well as the supply depot that was so valuable to the westward traveling pioneers in the 1800s.
  2. Allow each student to select an area of interest concerning Salt Lake's modern-day entertainment activities. A student may want to research snow skiing in the area, the cultural events, or a popular sports team from Utah.
  3. Duplicate and distribute copies of the Utah map on page 21. Have your students use the map to answer the questions.


  • copies of the activity page (see below for a link to this page)

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