Traveling the Oregon Trail
Created by Marla Bruce
Thomas Pullen Arts Focus
marla.bruce@pgcps.org
ID #: 10907

Subject Area: Social Studies
Grade Level: 4

Lesson Summary
Students will use their knowledge and understanding of the Oregon Trail in order to make a pamphlet for a wagon train they are forming.


Learning Objectives and Computer Functions
This lesson plan uses 4 objectives.

Objective 1: Students will demonstrate an understanding of historical and current events using chronological and spatial thinking, develop historical interpretations, and frame questions that include collecting and evaluating information from primary and secondary sources.
Uses The Internet to View a United Streaming video

Objective 2: Students will examine significant ideas, beliefs, and themes; organize patterns and events; and analyze how individuals and societies changed over time in Maryland, the United States, and the World.
Uses Publishing Tools to Develop a pamphlet

Objective 3: Students will use geographic concepts and processes to examine the role of culture, technology, and the environment in the location and distribution of human activities and spatial connections throughout time.
Uses Non-Computer Tool to make a map for the wagon train

Uses Non-Computer Tool to make a map with landmarks

Objective 4: Students will understand the historical development and current status of the fundamental concepts and processes of authority, power, and influence, with particular emphasis on the founding documents of the United States and the democratic skills and attitudes necessary to become responsible citizens.
Uses Publishing Tools to to include a list of rules for the participants


Problem
Problem Nature
You are organizing a wagon train and need to make a brochure for the participants to read. This brochure will help the settlers pack their wagons and be prepared for what they may face while traveling west.

Problem Data
generated

Notes on Using Data
Students will answer questions in order to identify what information they need from the video. Each group member will have a different set of questions. All must put the information together to make decisions about what families should do to prepare for the trip. Students will use a notebook fill in what needs to go in their pamphlet. Students will also have to decide how to make the map and convert miles to cm.

Problem Statement
You are organizing a wagon train and need to make a brochure for the participants to read. This brochure will help the settlers pack their wagons and be prepared for what they may face while traveling west.


Data Manipulation
Instructions
The learner used computers at intermediate level

Integration Strategies
As you watch the video, use the worksheet to answer the questions about traveling on the Oregon Trail. Explain how many miles it is from Independence, MO to Oregon City, OR. Discuss how many miles you plan to travel each day. Tell how long it will be to travel from Missouri to Oregon. When should you and the wagon train leave. Why?

Organization Strategies
Consider the reasons settlers moved west. Why might people in your wagon train want to move to the west? Use the model home and handouts to determine what families should pack and what they should leave behind. Explain why they should take certain things. Explain why they must leave the rest behind. Explain how many miles it is from Independence, MO to Oregon City, OR. Discuss how many miles you plan to travel each day. Tell how long it will be to travel from Missouri to Oregon. When should you and the wagon train leave. Why? Use the general store model and handouts to discuss the type of wagon and animals should be taken. Explain your choices. Discuss wht will be needed to prepare the wagons to cross the rivers. Explain why the rivers are dangerous. How should wagons be taken across the water?

Elaboration Strategies
Use the handouts to complete the map for the parties of your wagon train. Use a scale of 1cm = 2 miles. Use a legends/key to identify whree you expect to be each day of the journey. List important landmarks, forts, and rivers. Identify the halfway point. Make sure the halfway symbol is also on you legend. Discuss where settlers can stock up on the supplies they will need when they arrive in Oregon. How much should be taken to make it to this location? What should they be prepared to purchase at this location? Consider rules you will need to ensure that everyone does their part and makes it safely to Oregon.


Results Presentation
The report will be in the form of a pamphlet. The pamphlet should tell why people are choosing to go west; tell families what they should pack, what they should leave behind and why; explain how long the journey is and how many miles they plan to travel each day; tell when the wagon train will leave and why; suggest what type of wagon the settlers should purchase and which animals they should bring along with an explanation for both; discuss crossing rivers (the dangers, how to prepare the wagons, and how to cross); tell settlers where they will be able to get supplies along the trail and how much they will need to get to make it to Oregon; and provide a list of rules the individuals need to follow to ensure order and participation along the way.

Students will copy a historical map of the western territory onto a large piece of manila paper. Students are to use a handout to add the Oregon Trail to their map. They are also to use the handout to identify and add important landmarks, forts, and rivers. These items should be added to a legend. The halfway point needs to be labeled and added to the legend.


Activities
Activities Before Using the Computer
Team members will review their question sheet to see who is responsible for learning what information.

Strategies to develop students' attitudes towards the problem, motivation, and overall mindfulness:
The class will do a short jigsaw activity to see that all of their parts are needed for the work to be correct. Each member will be given part of a sentence/paragraph. We will look at how the information does not make sense if someone does not share their part.

 

Activities While Using the Computer
Students will work at the computer groups

Group Information:
Researcher Secretary Materials Handler Informant

 

Activities After Using the Computer
Teams will discuss with the other members, who are not on the computer, what they learned from the video and begin to complete their information on the Think Sheet/Notebook.

Supporting Activities
The students who are not at the computer will report back what they learned from the video (using their question sheet). The secretary will record that information in their notebook after they group determines where they will need that information to answer the questions. They will also use the handouts and models to find additional information to complete the Think Sheet.


Assessment
Students will be assessed by means of:

Included in the assessment:
The pamplet and map The question sheet




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