Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Pioneers, part 5: Plants, Animals and Routes

part 5: Plants, Animals and Routes

Monday: Timeline

Have your student add to his timeline: 1843: More than 1,000 settlers left Independence, Missouri for Oregon.

Tuesday: Research: Plants and Animals Along the Trail

Have your student research and find the names of plants the pioneers may have seen in each region. Have him find pictures and sketch at least one of these plants.

Have your student research and find the names of animals the pioneers may have encountered in each region. Have him find pictures and sketch at least one of these animals.

Wednesday: Mapping the Route

Land Routes

On a map, have your student mark in four colors the following routes the pioneers took:
Independence,  Missouri to the Willamette Valley. Label this Oregon Trail.
Nauvoo,  Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah. Show where this followed the Oregon Trail and where the route differed. Label this the Mormon Trail.
Show the route(s) the Overland Forty-Niners took. Be sure that he shows where the trails to California moved away from the Oregon Trail.
Show the route from New York City to the states in the Midwest. Label this the Orphan Train Trails.

Sea Routes

A large number of pioneers traveled to California by sea rather than on land. Have your student locate and mark the following routes, each in a different color, on a world map;
Panama Route: New York,  Boston or Charleston to the port of Chagres in Panama,  along the Chagres River to the town of Gorgona, then overland to San Francisco.

Nicaragua Route: Eastern cities to San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua, up the San Juan River,  across Lago de Nicaragua, then a ship to San Francisco.

Mexican Route: New Orleans, Galveston, Corpus Christi,  New York and Philadelphia to Tampico or Veracruz on Mexico's east coast, trek over mountains and deserts to the Pacific Coast, and then a ship to Acapulco, San Blas or Mazatlan, Mexico, then a ship to San Diego And Then San Francisco.

Cape Horn Route: New York or Boston to Rio de Janeiro,  Brazil, to Cape Horn, then to Valparaiso,  Chile, V then to Callao,  Peru and then a ship to San Francisco.

Have your student find information on advertisements for sea travel to the west. How believable and how reliable were the ads? Why did many pioneers choose to go west by sea? What did they expect the trip to be like? What were they actually like?

Thursday: Writing A Westward  Travel  Guide 

Pioneers relied on Travel Guides written by others who had made it out west successfully to make their way across North America. Your student will begin to make a similar guide using the information he has learned over the past few weeks. He will continue to add to it each week (I suggest doing this on Mondays) as he learns more. Before he begins, discuss with him about how accurate he thinks this sort of guide was and who wrote them.
He might include some of the following things:
Wagons: what type you need and what supplies you need.
Tools and ammunition you need.
Amount of food you need for each person.
Description of landmarks along the trail.
Distances between landmarks.
Description of the rivers and where and how to cross them.
Tips on how to stay healthy on the trail.
Suggested remedies for illnesses.
How to treat snake bites.
What kind of medicines to take with you and what they do.
Plants that can be found on the trail, what they do and where to find them.
Suggestions for cooking along the trail.
What kinds of weather to expect, on the Prairie, in the dessert, and in the mountains.
How to take wagons up and down steep mountainous areas.
Include a map, but have him sketch it without looking at his notebook.

Friday: Role-Play

There is some dissension among the wagons in your train. Some of the trains that did not bring extra livestock are getting tired of standing night guard and collecting strays. Immediately the guide calls for  a wagon train meeting to decide how to solve this problem.  If you are able to resolve it satisfactorily, nothing happens. 400 DPs if it is left unresolved.

When you stopped for your mid-day meal, your spouse and youngest child (or two members of your party) wandered off while picking herbs. It is noon time and suddenly realize that they are missing.  You and a number of other members of your train must take the afternoon looking for them.

Some of the livestock disappeared overnight.  There is no sign of their remains, so they were probably stolen. Roll to see if it one of your animals. If it is, you get to choose which one it was. If it was an oxen, subtract 2 EFs,  if it was a cow, goat, mule or horse, subtract 1 EF.

A scorpion gets into your shoe in the middle of the night.  When you put your boot on, the scorpion bites you. If you write a good research paragraph on scorpions and what you should do about the bite, you get 200 DPs,  400 for an acceptable paragraph and 1000 if you do not turn in a paragraph.

The wagon train is ready to cross a river. There are four wagon trains, with a total of 60 wagons, waiting to cross before your wagon train can cross and there is no ferry. While you are waiting the guide asks you your opinion of how you want to get the wagons across? How will you get all the things in the wagons across?  Who will take the cattle across?

1 comment:

  1. oh, I just realized I should add this to my Texas history guide I"m working on, because I'm planning to do a variation of this for colonization of Texas during the early 1800s. Now to go back and find the first post, or the landing page......

    ReplyDelete

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