In a Rush!

CA CCSS 4.3.2 – Compare how and why people traveled to California and the routes they traveled (e.g., James Beckwourth, John Bidwell, John C. Fremont, Pio Pico).

This activity is designed for fourth-grade students in California. This lesson will be tied into the California history unit on the Gold Rush and Westward expansion. My goal is for students to understand the dangers of the route and consider why pioneers would still embark on the trip.

In this lesson, students will explore a map of the Pony Express Trail on Google MyMaps. Students will move along the trail and do research on the various stops along the way from the East to West on the hunt for gold. They will work together and determine the challenges of traveling through these locations. They will then create an opinion piece on whether or not they would take this trail if they were pioneers.

4 Replies to “In a Rush!”

  1. Kate, Great idea to use MyMaps to visualize the Pony Express route. I like that you added relevant text to each stop. I’m curious how you created that route. It seems to avoid interstate highways. Wondering what you used for preferences on the route setting?

  2. Hi Kate! I think this is a great idea and I really like how you incorporated a writing piece, I think it would be interesting to hear students’ reasonings as to if they would use the trail or not. I think this would be a fun and interactive lesson and I like how you used MyMaps! Great job!

  3. I really enjoyed this idea, Kate! It’s a really great way for students to not only learn and visualize their state’s history but also to make inferences about how it must’ve been like to travel along this route based on the extra details and information you give. Good job on this!

  4. Kate, I think this idea is so cute and it’s such a good way to keep kids organized when there’s so many places and ideas in a unit. Good job!

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