Students LOVE this Oregon Trail simulation and beg for more time to play! But best part is, student wagon groups decide cooperatively and wagons are moved by playing math probability games! Sneaking in math and group work is a side bonus to this simulation.
Student pioneers sit in wagon groups and move their team’s wagon along the Oregon Trail map that uses actual landmarks. Wagon team members work together, completing your everyday classroom assignments, and display good social skills to earn points towards earning a wagon move. Students' social skills and cooperation provide the "power" for the wagons, just as teamwork helped the pioneers.
The best part is, student groups also use math probability skills to try to earn bonus landmark moves. The better their math skills, the more likely they are to move an extra landmark! Student wagon masters keep track of the points they earned or lost during the week for positive traits they exhibit all throughout the day.
It's EASY for the teacher and FUN for the student pioneers but LOADED with math skills and social skills. :)
There are 60 historically accurate fates for your wagon teams to make decisions or learn their fate. The fates help students learn about the landmarks, the trials, tribulations, and dangers of the Oregon Trail journey.
At week’s end, wagon teams draw a fate card. Using mathematical skills, student pioneers increase their odds of winning the probability games and if they win, they earn an extra landmark move on the wall map. Students draw and play a math probability game on the SMART Board or they use the manipulative version provided.
Technology is NOT needed! This set includes games in two formats so ALL teachers can participate: In SMART Board game interactive format and also manipulative format for those teachers without a SMART Board.
This simulation can take from 4-6 weeks but the great part is YOU (the teacher) control the pace that the wagons move so you can make the simulation last as long as you'd like. A chart is included showing you how to adjust the length of the unit.
You’ll trace a huge bulletin board sized map of the Oregon Trail onto butcher paper that highlights 20 famous actual landmarks and displays the major rivers and modern state boundaries (for reference). You’ll attach the place names using the stickers provided in the set. There will be color coded wagon banners hanging over each wagon group and wagons to move along the trail map. This map will be saved and re-used year after year.
The best part of all is, while the students are learning about the Oregon Trail through this simulation, they are cooperating as teams, helping each other, and completing work because THAT’S how their wagon is powered! It's great for the teacher because students are monitoring their own behavior and work habits. :) It’s fun for all and an impressive wall display for parents, too.
Your purchase includes special website access to my Oregon Trail web link collection. I’ve found the best sites for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades students to learn about the trail life. I found links for all the major trail landmarks, too. Using the website link collection helps ensure students are in a more protected Internet environment while learning more about Trail life.
Living in and teaching in Oregon inspired me to create all of my Oregon Trail materials and students LOVE this Oregon Trail simulation! May of our family vacations were taken to actual trail landmarks to help make this unit realistic.
Materials in the Set:
148 pages of materials
• Teacher directions and hints for the simulation and games plus a few photos of student work and the wall map – 18 pgs PDF
• A master map of the Oregon Trail that is used to create a giant wall map of the trail complete with 20 landmarks, rivers & states – 1 pg PDF
• Labels with the names of all landmarks, rivers, and states with dates of statehood to stick onto the wall map – 2 pgs PDF
• Wall banner/sign to put above the giant wall map that says, “Bound for Oregon!” with wagon clip art – prints on 6 sheets of paper MS Publisher - editable
• Fate Cards and Game Directions – includes the mathematical probability behind each game – 60 landmark fates - 40 pages PDF
• Envelope labels with the names of the probability games – for organizing the fates – 1 pg PDF
• Oregon Trail Fate Games for the SMART Board – there are 7 interactive games – 13 pages SMART Notebook 11
• Oregon Trail Fate Games Manipulative Version – 18 pages PDF
• Wagon Teams Group a chart in MS Word that you can type into for putting students into groups – 1 pg MS Word
• Wagon Teams Group Chart – a chart in SMART Board format that you can use for putting students into groups – 1 pg SMART Notebook 11 format
• Blank fate cards – so you can add your own fates if desired – 1 pg MS Word
• Wagon Train Banner Signs – to hang over the wagon groups or for a bulletin board wall – in 3 styles - 21 pages PDF
• Small Wagons to move along the wall map – 1 pg PDF
• Oregon Trail Point Chart for wagon masters to use to tally wagon team points earned each week – includes examples of ways students can earn and lose points plus a poster – 6 pgs PDF
• Oregon Trail Point Summary Pages for the Teacher so you can type into them – 7 pages MS Word
• Class Wagon Team Moves Earned Summary Chart – used on wagon moving day so the class can see everyone else’s wagon moves – 1 page in BOTH MS Word and SMART Notebook formats
• Meet My Family – drawing paper – 1 pg PDF
• Access to my Oregon Trail Website Collection – I’ve collected many, many links to Oregon Trail landmark sites plus other Oregon Trail sites that are perfect to accompany this project. You will receive this link in your purchase. – 8 pages PDF plus online access
More of My Oregon Trail Materials that Complement this Product:
Oregon Trail Story Writing Book Project Oregon Trail Pioneer Apple Crisp Fractions Lesson Pioneer Quilt Block Fractions Oregon Trail ABC Book Project If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon Comprehension Worksheets Torn Edged Writing Paper in Different Sizes for the “Old Fashioned” Look - included in this set
but also sold separately.
Note: In addition to the simulation, I also have students write a book of their journey on the trail, plus other activities. This is a separate product on TpT.
Enjoy the excitement of great classroom behavior and study skills while learning about the Oregon Trail!