I have fond memories of playing the computerized Oregon Trail game as a young preteen. Or maybe I was (embarrassingly) older than that when I enjoyed it. Let’s not think about it. It was fun to play in a simulation, and at the same time I was learning a little about history.
This week’s Friday Freebie will feature some free resources I’ve found (and one that I’ve made) that relate to the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail and general westward migration.
I’ve been trying to incorporate a little bit of Oregon Trail into our homeschool this week, but without much success. We’ve actually done far more science this week (Raisin is in a primary-grade level class one morning a week), so American history has fallen by the wayside. Yes, it’s May and we’re not going to finish general American history before the year “ends.” But since we’re probably homeschool all summer, I’m hoping we can wrap up American history to some extent so we can begin September with ancient history in Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer.
But, back to Oregon. I recently found If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon by Ellen Levine at Half Price Books’ grand opening sale near me. This was a perfect book! But my son, at age 5, will not read a book with so many pages if I ask him to.
I had to trick him into that kind of learning. So I created a Scavenger Hunt, which requires him to use the Table of Contents, Introduction, and Index to find where to find the answers. This way, he gets familiar with books but also can learn a little bit about the subject. We’ve done half of it, and will finish next week. I’m hoping he’ll appreciate the book better afterwards, and possibly pick it up on his own at some point because it is familiar.
Do you want it to? You can get the If You Traveled West “scavenger hunt” of questions for free when you sign up to become a Line upon Line Learning VIP.
You will note that my worksheet above does not provide space for writing the answers. My son is not a strong writer, and I knew that would be painful for him. Rather, this lets him answer orally. This worksheet could be used in a group setting, too. Or, a teacher could give a student the page and require them to answer on a separate page. I hope it helps you in what ever educational setting you may be in!
Other free resources I’ve found include these:
- Pioneer Crafts. I think we may get out the Popsicle sticks this afternoon!
- Kids Konnect. Lots of information about pioneers here!
- Pioneer Games. Fun for a group.
- About the Mormon Trail. Since I am Mormon and on our trip we traveled past Mormon Trail sites, I though this park service page is a nice addition for our studies.
- Oregon trail FAQs and images.
- Edusitement! Lesson Plan.
- Old West Pioneer Children Experiences.