Thematic Unit

Grade: 5th grade

Duration: 7 days

Content Summary:
Students will learn about all aspects of the Oregon Trail, including why people decided to move to the west, how the journey began, the food they ate, the hardships they faced, and the landmarks that helped them find their way. 

It is important that students learn how the western part of the United States was populated, so that they can understand the development of the country. 

- Students will learn about the pioneer experience on the Oregon Trail
- Students will become familiar with the geography of the Oregon Trail and some of its historic sites.
- Students will synthesize historical data through creative writing 

Sunshine State Standards:
SS.5.A.6.4  Explain the importance of the explorations west of the Mississippi River.
SS.5.A.6.9  Describe the hardships of settlers along the overland trails to the west.  
SS.5.A.6.6  Explain how westward expansion affected Native Americans.  

Key Points:
- Read a historical fiction diary of a child experiencing the Oregon Trail.
- Why people left for the west
- How they started the journey
- How the population of the United Stated changed dramatically after expansion to the west
- The wagons the people traveled in
- The animals that pulled the wagons
- The food the pioneers ate during their journey
- How the pioneers camped
- The hardships the people faced during their journey
- The role Native Americans played in western expansion
- The landmarks the travelers used to make sure they were going the right way
- What the pioneers did once they reached their destination