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I loved playing the Oregon Trail computer game in elementary school, and felt compelled to re-create the game as an interactive bulletin board for my students.
I place my students in teams of four (depending on class size) and place their faces on the heads of the pioneers in the clip art wagon trains. This alone gets my students excited to play the game.
Students begin by deciding which trail to take west within their wagon train.
To move, each wagon train rolls a die, and then moves their miniature wagon train the number on that die. If it is a normal dot on the trail, students pick a regular playing card (problem, advantage or hunting cards) and follow the directions on that card.
If students roll but come to a dot on the trail that is circled in red, they must stop. These red circled trail dots can be three types of cards.
1. River crossing: Come in front of a river and players must pick a river crossing card and follow its directions.
2. Natural landmark: Landmark dots are circled in red and numbered. Students pick the corresponding number on the dot and read the information about that landmark.
3. Forts and cities: Major forts and cities on the trail are also numbered, and students again pick that corresponding card. After they read the information, they lose their next turn to "rest" at the fort or city. Some forts and cities are on places where different trails meet. If the wagon train decided to, they my switch trails at these intersections.
Included is a worksheet for teams to keep track of their progress. If they draw a playing card that says lose a turn, or lose two turns, they can make an x on the next two days of the week. If their card does not have them lose a turn, they can simply place a check mark to signify that they will be rolling the next day.
I'm sure I'm forgetting some rules or information about how I teach the game each year, so please feel free to ask any questions you may have!
* 6 Trail signs
* 4 clip art wagon trains designating each team
* 4 clip art wagon trains for each team's playing piece
* Worksheet to keep track of each team's turns
* 8 natural landmark playing cards
* 7 fort and city playing cards
* 9 types of river crossing playing cards
* 23 types of "problem" playing cards
* 7 types of "advantage" playing cards
* 10 types of hunting playing cards
Does not include:
* United States map
* Lifesize standups