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  • Circle Your Wagons: Pioneer Day

  • The lesson: Simulate the westward movement to achieve a deeper understanding of frontier factors.
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    • About this Series
      In the Classroom is a series of photography-driven reports on lessons taught in local elementary schools. If you have an idea, please send it to Heidi Monjure at
      hmonjure@ashlandnet.net.
      » Read more
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      About this Series
      In the Classroom is a series of photography-driven reports on lessons taught in local elementary schools. If you have an idea, please send it to Heidi Monjure at

      hmonjure@ashlandnet.net.
  • The lesson: Simulate the westward movement to achieve a deeper understanding of frontier factors.
    Imagine it is 1846 and you are 11 years old. You are traveling the 2,000-mile journey from Independence, Mo., to Oregon, facing situations and events experienced by pioneers.
    These were the instructions that Walker Elementary School teachers Nancy Keim, Debi Blair and Toni Martinez gave their fourth-grade students.
    The more than 70 students were asked to pretend they were challenged by floods, blocked trails and a lack of food as they simulated their journeys to Oregon. Over the course of one month, a different factor arose each day that the wagon groups had to address and decide what to do.
    One day, it was an energy factor. How much could the pioneers work?
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