3rd Graders Walk the Oregon Trail

As a sequel to “Apple Valley Days” when Grade 3 simulated life in an 1865 school house, our students traveled to Oregon Ridge to participate in a simulation of walking the Oregon Trail. In preparation, Mrs. Goldstein and Mrs. Hellman helped the children to refit and decorate toy wagons, transforming them into Conestogas. Once the wagons were loaded up with lunches and supplies, the children along with their teachers and parent chaperones, walked the trail. Along the way they spotted discarded items, commonly referred to at that time as “leave-er-rights” (Just leave her right there!) There were grave markers along the way, representing those pioneers who did not survive the journey back in the 19th century. Once the children arrived on the prairie, and we are happy to report that all of our pioneers did survive our journey, the children engaged in various survival activities. They learned to start a fire using a flint and then brewed tea over that fire. With adult assistance, the children erected a lean-to shelter and engaged in games commonly played in the 1860’s. Following a picnic lunch with freshly brewed tea out on the prairie, our pioneers made their way back through the tall grass and over a stream to their 21st century school buses.