Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Packin' Our Wagons..... and a Western FREEBIE

 I LOVE the units we do at the end of the year.  I think I tend to save the best for last.  We just wrapped up our study of space and now my kiddos are packing their wagons to head west.  My students will begin their unit of study on Lewis and Clark and Westward migration.  This unit is SO much fun!  ( I do have a western themed freebie at the end of the post.... read on to find it.)

We begin by talking about the Louisiana Purchase and the expedition by Lewis and Clark.  The students get so excited because the Lewis and Clark expedition began in our "backyard" so to speak.  Students are always excited to learn about history that took place in their "neck of the woods".  They seem to sit a little straighter and focus upon the lesson presented in class.   Then we move into the first people to travel west on the Oregon Trail.  My students pack their wagons as well.  We all "virtually" travel West to explore the trail together.  Other items we study are the Pony Express, California Gold Rush,  and famous outlaws.   We always wrap up this unit of study with a field trip to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.  The students watch an IMAX movie at the bottom of the Arch that is about Lewis and Clark's expedition.  It's a FABULOUS movie!!  Then they get to travel in a tram to the top of the Arch.  There is also a museum of artifacts from the time period of Westward Migration as well.  It's such a great learning experience and LOADS of fun.  We will be going on this exciting trip in just a few weeks.  Here's  a picture of the Arch..just imagine taking a group of 3rd graders up the the top of  this landmark....  There are several small windows at the top for students to look out of.  The view of downtown St. Louis is amazing!

I created a Westward Migration Unit to use in my classroom. You can find it at TPT for $4.00 HERE.  Included in this 43 page unit is:  A student booklet, Lewis and Clark report, Packing Your Wagon Activity, Pony Express postage stamp activity, Westward Migration study guide, and a Westward Migration Test.  Included in the student booklet are: Louisiana Purchase,  Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea, Oregon Trail- Beginning, Reasons for heading West, Preparing for the Trip, Prairie Schooners, A Day on the Trail, Dangers along the Trail, Famous landmarks, Setting Up the Land, Native Americans, Gold Rush, Pony Express, and Outlaws.  I also have a powerpoint presentation for $2.00 on TPT of the student booklet... this is great if your district is like mine and NEEDS to reduce paper.  This presentation doesn't have the test nor the study guide and additional activities. Click HERE to take a look. I wish I could combine the units but because one is a powerpoint file and the other a pdf, I am unable to.  Sorry!

One other activity we do with our Western Migration unit is keep a daily journal of our trip.  You can find this for FREE HERE at my TPT store.  Let me know what you think.  It goes right along with my Wesward Migration unit.  Here's a peek.

Have an awesome night!  Do you have any upcoming field trips?  I would love for you to share them.  Someone posted a few weeks ago about a field trip to the Biltmore mansion... I have always wanted to visit there.


Christi at Ms. Fultz's Corner said...

You could make a zip file and combine your two units. I've started doing it and it's surprisingly easy. Literally drag and drop! I use the free 7-zip to do it.

I loved teaching the Westward unit with my fourth graders. I'm from southern Indiana and it was so fun sharing pictures with them of the Clark family home and the Falls of the Ohio.

My husband is taking me to the Biltmore on our way to the beach this summer. I've heard it's really pretty in the fall too!

Christi ツ
Ms. Fultz’s Corner

Amber P. said...

What a fun unit! I wish I taught this!

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Jordon, The Messy One said...

Thanks for your comment! You should definitely check out "Defending Jacob" .. it's so good!
I am a new follower :)

Katie Smith said...

Looks like a great unit. I'm planning to share it with my teammate who teaches all of our third grade social studies.

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