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Let's Party like its 1849


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Keywords: podcasting, Oregon trail, prarie, word processing
Subject(s): Math, Journalism, Science, English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Photography, Podcasting, Technology, Social Skills, Art, Physics
Grades 4 through 6
School: Edmund A Burns Elem School, Charleston, SC
Planned By: Tatia Williams
Original Author: Tatia Williams, Charleston
Let's go on the Oregon Trail!

This was a whole unit I designed in college, and the objectives covered are the social studies standards.

If fully done, the lesson actually takes 4 months, integrated fully into all subjects!

Reading:
Read daily from books similar to:

"Bound for Oregon" ~ Aimed at 4th-6th graders, this story is based on the original account of Mary Ellen Todd's Oregon Trail Journey. Booklist called it "A fine, fictional introduction to life on the Oregon Trail. "

"If you Traveled West in a Covered Wagon" ~ Aimed at 9-12 year-olds, answers all the questions young people have about the Trail experience. Like "Could they get mail along the way."

"Westward Ho with Ollie Ox" ~ One of the few Trail books aimed at very young children (4 - 10), this is a fun tale about Ollie the lovable ox who pulls a wagon from Missouri to Oregon.

Math:
Daily in math diary. Start the Oregon trail with a certain amount of money, usually 1,000 dollars. Have students buy supplies ahead, similar to Oregon Trail the game.
25 cents a pound for most items and other supplies, including a wagon.

Have students subtract expenses and show how much money they have before starting the day.

In a writing journal, first tell students what expenses they had daily as well as what happened to each of them.
Make sure they list in their writing journal in a word processor, the people on the journey, and their ages.

Make sure sickness and weather adversities happen daily.

Each day the student must record in great detail what happened to them in the journal.

For science, many 4th graders are required too study magnetics.

I took a leap and did a cool science project using 5 types of cereal and magnets. You add water in 5 cups to 1/2 cup cereal. take a magnet in plastic wrap and run through mussy cereal. Cereal must be stirred very well first.
Place magnet on white paper towel. Magnetic pieces of iron and other minerals will be black on it. Create bar charts of the data from the 5 cereals. Have each student take pictures.

Next, link over to health and describe the health needs of those on the Oregon trail.

Also describe the diseases and what minerals you need in a healthy diet.

Get cotton fabric and make scarves for the boys and bonnets for the girls.

Take photos. Have students create pages in word and add prairie clip art.

Use this to cover both journals to personalize them.

Serve prairie food one day in class.

Have students do a walk outside simulating the walk and how they would look for attackers.

Describe they way to circle the wagons and why did so.

In the end, you can incorporate all subjects.
Prairie music
Prairie art
Prairie food
Prairie nutrition-magnets(science)
Prairie plants to eat
Prairie journals
Prairie Reading
Prairie Math
Prairie Spelling words

You can easily podcast journal entries and make a prairie recording story.

Assessments:
Rubrics for journals
Tests over material
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This hits all!
Follow-Up
Do a play on the prairie!
Links: oregon trail
pics from the trail
Materials: Podcasting, Word Processor, Social Studies, Camera Bags, Point and Shoot, Wildlife
Other Items: 1 Cameras(5) at least, $150 each, total of $150.00