Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Westward and Onward

WESTWARD HO! 

Lewis and Clark
The California Gold Rush - 49'ers
Oregon Trail
War of 1812
Trail of Tears (Indian Removal Act) 
Mexican American War
Manifest Destiny 
Life in the WEST
and the Transcontinental Railroad ... these were all the exciting topics we covered over the last half of the school year. 

     This was SUCH a fun unit to do with the kids! While our history book carried us on to the Civil War, I stopped at Westward Expansion (as much as it BROKE my heart) simply because the CW is not one of our benchmarks, and I felt it would conflict with the Revolutionary War (which is something they WILL be tested on come fall).

In this unit WE ...
  • participated in the online Lewis and Clark Junior Ranger activity and each student received a patch from the national park. 
  • created railroad advertisements to encourage travelers on the Transcontinental Railroad 
  • created individual lapbooks (or flapjacks as I call them) 
  • we researched a modern "extreme adventure" and compared it the Lewis and Clark expedition
  • we "mined" for gold (in chocolate chip cookies!) and compared the cookie's soil and the different methods people used for mining 
  • we learned many "western survival" techniques including how to sew on a button and how to sew a pillow (and yes, my boys LOVED it!) 
  • we simulated the journey that the pioneers took the Oregon Trail - students were placed in "family" groups, picked and bought their supplies at the General Store, and proceeded to read papers and use dice to determined their fate! 
  • Explored the trials faced by Native American Tribes and created "Indian Story Bags" to tell the tale of the Trail of Tears
  • "built" mini log cabins
  • Created their own monument for the Mexican/American War
  • Published newspapers for the "Westward Weekly Newspaper" about recent happenings 

And, OF COURSE, the display back table display changed yet again!

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