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Name: Kristen Drabek

Level of Certification: Early Childhood/Elementary Education Major

Lesson: Imagining the Oregon Trail in the 21

Subject: Geography

Grade Level: 4

Previous Lesson: History Timeline Ladder: Kindergarten

4-G1.01 Identify questions geographers ask in examining the United States (e.g., Where
is it? What is it like there? How is it connected to other places?).
4-G1.0.3 Identify and describe the characteristics and purposes (e.g measure distance,
determine relative location, classify a region) use a variety of geographic tools and
technologies (e.g globe, map, satellite image).

Materials: Maps, Computers, Oregon Trail books, Pioneer books

Time needed: 5 class periods, a week

Lesson Objective:
Students will be able to describe the characteristics and purposes to determine
relative location, and use a variety of geographic tools and technologies.
Students will be able to answer questions the class may ask about the places they
travel while on their journey of the Oregon Trail.
Students will understand historical data through creative writing and teamwork
posting ideas on the board.
Students will be able to compare and contrast modern day travel experiences with
travel experiences of the 21
century with the impact of geography had on travel
in the past vs. modern times

Prior Knowledge: Students will have already worked with globes, maps, and satellite
images. Students will have already learned about the different regions of the United
States and also the location of the United States compared to other places on the globe.

Anticipatory Set:
Ask students what they already know about Pioneers. What is a Pioneer? Do we
have any Pioneers today? If so, where?
I will then ask students what they think, know, and assume what life may be like.
I will go over the background of what pioneers are, who were they, where they
came from, what time period they are from and where they went and why.
I will then explain to students that they are now going to learn about the
experiences of people who really did move across the country, the pioneers who
traveled west on the Oregon Trail in the 1840s. I will show them a map of the
route the emigrants traveled which can be found on
Then as a group we will try and decide and talk about if there are pioneers today?
Next I will group students and have them begin their journey and brainstorm
together as a team, for about 30-45 minutes.
During this time students will be given a location and talk about where their
desired location is in relation to their current location?
Based on where students begin their starting journey, they will have to choose
what land they will be crossing and what they may want to bring with them for

Teaching / Instruction Process:
I will first ask students to explore what they already know about pioneers.
Activating their prior knowledge!
We will then go over questions
o Who were they?
o Where did they come from?
o Where did they go, and why?
o What period in history are they associated with?
Then I will explain to students that they are now going to imagine themselves as
modern day pioneers. We will use national geographic magazines to determine
what region(s) that students could be traveling through or ending in.
Students will then be able to use a large classroom map, and individual maps of
the United States. Students will also have access to Google earth, and road maps
from the states they will cross to get to their desired location.
Once the students have received the maps I will then divide the class into 4
groups and then choose four different states far away from our home state to have
them travel too.
Next the students will imagine that they are going to move to this distant
state one month from now.
Students in each group will then brainstorm together a list of belongings
they are allowed to bring. There are NO RESTRICTIONS.
After the students compile a list they will then start their journey across the states
to get to their desired location. Students must write out their direction marking
where they stop for rest.
Each group will be given a different choice of transportation chosen from
a hat by the group; it could be by train, carriage, car, boat, or plane.
Once students have created each individual trip, each group will present the
itinerary of how they will get there and what they are bringing.
They will also act out how they traveled.
Students would then discuss the differences between groups and the routes
each group took.

I will float throughout the room to ensure that students have properly set up their
map, and followed the directions discussed in the beginning.
I will also monitor the students using the computers and help in research if needed
with the books we have throughout the classroom about pioneers.

Throughout the process of mapping the students journey I will remind the
students that they are learning about pioneers experience and not about just
mapping a route, and that they will understand historical data through research
and putting together their trip today vs. the trip down Oregon trail in the 1840s.
Students will then put together a skit of how it was for them to travel on the
Oregon Trail.
Last students will do a reflection based upon if they were going to travel in the
future how it should shape their travel experiences from what they learned
planning their own journey.

Students may have trouble mapping out the journey with a map
Students would rather use the internet rather then the book
By asking some students preferred and easier route vs. the challenging
Some students will have trouble multi-taking
Some students will have difficulty working in a group
Some students will have trouble using historic data to todays data.

Do students understand what it was like to travel west on the Oregon Trail?
Have the students act out how their experience would be in the form they
How has the experience of travel changed over the course of the last 150
Did you enjoy working as a team instead of by yourself?
Have students play Oregon Trail, and see if they notice anything different
from their journeys.
I will assess if the students can compare and contrast modern day travel
experiences with travel experiences of the 21
century with the impact of
geography had on travel in the past vs. modern times by having them write a
journal entry comparing and contrasting these things. I will also have them come
up one by one and point out on a globe what things might have been a set back for
the Oregon Trail (lakes, rivers, mountains, oceans).
I will assess the students when they are doing their skit on whether or not they can
answer the questions correctly and accurately the class may ask about the places
they traveled while on their journey of the Oregon Trail.
I will assess if students understand historical data while I walk around and
observe their discussion, creative writing, and teamwork while writing down ideas
for their skit. I will ask them HOT questions and possibly be the devils advocate
to challenge them on their thinking.
I will informally assess students when they are using the globe, Google earth, and
road maps to make sure they are finding the relative location with these tools and

I will assess the students if they have come up with a correct itinerary of their travel
guide and how they will get to their desired location, with the stops and what they need to
get there. I will grade them upon how well they worked together, how well their travel
trip planning came together. The skit that the students chose to do based upon their travel
experience will relate if they had hardships versus the more convenient ways of traveling
for other groups. And have them write a reflection based upon what they if you were
going to travel in the future how would this shape your travel and what they learned from
planning their journey traveling on the Oregon Trail.

HOT/Bloom actions:

1. Compare and contrast modern day travel experiences with travel experiences of
the 21
century with the impact of geography had on travel in the past vs. modern
times. (Journal entires)
2. Create a skit with a group. (Activity)
3. Can you formulate an hypothesis of what the people that traveled the Oregon trail
wished they would have from our world today while traveling other than
technology and transportation? (In Reflections)
4. When you are performing your skit, provide some type of evidence that would
lead your audience to believe you are traveling the Oregon Trail. (Skit)
5. Examine the United States and explain how to it is connected to other places
around the world?(Teaching/ Instruction Process)


The reason I choose this lesson plan format is because I feel that while it is a lot of
information it is easy to follow and helps you as a teacher be guided in a simpler form,
then having a ton of information that could be important but not necessary to understand
the lesson. Also this format is easy once you set your standard and objectives and follow
throughout. The other lessons were too much and not enough. Ever since I took EDU
3210 this lesson plan format makes much more sense then the other formats I have used
previously. Unfortunately some things I dealt with creating this lesson plan were finding
a standard in GLCEs. But I found one that would fit with the criteria taught.



effort (4pts)
Good Effort
Minimal Effort

New skills
gained (maps
and internet

Students gained
information on
mapping, and
using the
resources for
travel guidance.
Students gained
knowledge on
mapping and
guidance to
prepare for
Students used
little to no
resources, and
did not map out
travel plan
Poor work, did
not gain
support from
map or internet.

Knowledge on
Oregon Trail

Could answer
all questions
when asked
about travel
Could answer
most questions.
Only knew
based upon
their travel
Knew very
little of trip and
was not
much at all.


Explained full
lifestyle of
student and
said 3+ things
they learned
while doing
this lesson.
lifestyle of a
pioneer and
spoke on 2-3
things they
learned while
completing this
some of your
lifestyle and
only knew 1-2
things about
what you
learned about
Barely knew
anything about
pioneers and
could only
mention one
thing they
learned from
the research.


Skit produces
was great and
reflected the
experience they
Skit showed
many skills
gained from
Skit was short
only showed a
few things
about their
Did bare
minimum only.