You have just signed on with a wagon train, for the arduous trip to California to start a new life in what you have heard is a wonderful land. You are gathering provisions for the long journey that lies ahead, and essentials you will need in California. You will need to be prepared for everything that could happen along the way, as the wilderness along the trail is dangerous. You will need many supplies, but they are expensive, and must fit into your wagon. You will also need to pick the best route by which to travel, and a date for departure that ensures you will arrive at your final destination before the winter arrives. You will need to choose wisely, to ensure your survival.
Settlers emigrating west along the California/ Oregon Trail experienced incredible hardships, and survived many perils with the help of careful planning, cooperation, and a great deal of luck.
Teamwork along the California/Oregon trail was very important. To ensure their survival settlers had to work together. You will also be working with other pioneers in your own wagon train (groups of 4-6). Using the Internet, your wagon train will research the items on this list.
1. Choose one of the emigrant parties:
2. Decide which members of your wagon train will assume the following roles
3. As a group, draw up a list of the provisions the group will need to take for their trip westward. Those items that are essential are to be highlighted. Weights of various staple foods will need to be researched (flour, sugar, coffee, corn meal etc.)
In planning which supplies to take with you, remember that you may only take what you can carry in your wagon. Make sure that you have enough room in your wagon to carry your supplies. The wagon dimensions are 4 feet x 10 feet, and at least 1000 lbs. of food is needed for a four person family. Be careful not to over pack your wagon, as an overburdened wagon cannot keep up with the rest of the train.
You also need decide which animals you want to pull your wagon, and plan to bring supplies for them as well. You may choose from the following animals.
4. Each group will submit a:
Supplies and Provisions:
Fantastic Facts About the Oregon Trail
"Jumping Off": Preparing for the Adventure of a Lifetime
Pioneers: What Did They Take With Them?
Mapping Your Route
Links to Trails West
Links to the Oregon Trail
Tying it All Together
In your presentation, describe your chosen route to the class. Explain why yours was the best route to take. Use a poster for projecion of your map while describing your route.
Also explain the rules that your wagon train agreed to travel and live by and why you chose them.
Tell the class which supplies your wagon train chose to bring.
You will be evulated based on
Many people died along the jouney West or had to abandon the endeaver. After this experience, what do you think was the major cause for failure of whole wagon trains and of individuals riding the trail?
Your group planning and implimentation of this activity is similar in some ways to the processes followed by the pioneers.
Go to the computer lab and play Oregon Trail. This is a computerized game with many components of this lesson. The game forces you to make additional decisions, such as food rations, pace of travel, ways to cross rivers, family members, and ways to manage various illnesses that commonly afflicted persons traveling along the trail.