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Westward Ho Journal

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Keywords: Smartpen, Oregon Trail, Westward Expansion, History, Maps, Writing, Journals
Subject(s): Art, Technology, Geography, Podcasting, Writing, Reading, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Journalism, Math, History
Grades 3 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Community Christian School, Lincoln, CA
Planned By: Pamela Jimison
Original Author: Pamela Jimison, Sacramento
1. Students study Westward Expansion and the Oregon Trail. They make note of the famous historical places along the way - Chimney Rock, Courthouse Rock, Fort Hall, etc.
2. Students choose recreate a map of the trail.
3. Students label parts of the map and use smartpen paper for the specific labels.
4. Students record their voices at each location using the echo smartpen. They pretend like the are traveling along the trail and record what happens at each location.

* This lesson may be used individually or collaboratively in groups. I would use groups and have each member record a section along the trail.

You now have an audio trail of the Westward Ho expansion using student voices and maps.
Smartpens are wonderful to use in the classroom. They are fairly cheap and can be shared easily!
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This same type of idea can be used easily in science through creating diagrams and labeling the pictures with audio.
Materials: Pen Readers
Other Items: 1 Echo Smartpen, $99.00 each, total of $99.00
1 Smartpen paper/journal, $30.00 each, total of $30.00