We enact the wagon train experience by taking time most days for a month to pretend we are on a trip west. We explore the paintings at the art museum in person and online. We create journals and fill them with photos from the internet as we \”pass by\” the scenes. We learn how people looked in the past and how CA has changed a lot in such a short time. We use each room bulletin board to create a western theme and make our own wagon models from paintings and photos.
They will experience the feeling if being in the old west, as if they went through a time machine. We see clips of movies of the time period and imagine the hardships the pioneers suffered. We discuss the risks and consequences of their pioneer spirit and apply it to their real-time lives. We discuss what they might \”pioneer\” in this time period. We talk about what defines success.
We use paintings from the museum, online searches for photos and paintings, research books, go to museums of the old west in Sacramento, we pan for gold, we dress as specific characters and write about them, we write in journals about our \”experiences\” on the trail, we sometimes invite another class to be the Native Americans we meet on the trail.
That\’s about it. The kids love it and so do I. We also take field trips to the historical sites in Sacramento, where it all happened.by