Western Expansion Activities and Fireworks
1. Craft – Cowboys and Indians
2. Key Points – Railway Workers: Who Am I?
3. Collaborative – Gold Rush
4. Language Arts – Sheriff's Campaign
5. Math/Logic – Plum Stone Game
6. Character Connection – Beautiful Blend of People
7. Big Activity – Oregon Trail
8. Movement - Dress for the West
Westward Expansion Challenge
Complete the Transcontinental Railroad
Create a Telegraph Line
Build Challenge: Train Engine
Celebration of Peace: April 8
Read through the fireworks and choose about five that you think might interest your child. Allow him or her to select 1-3 of them.
Plan a trip from New York to California. Figure out how you can get there by plane, train, bus, and car. Make a chart that compares the time and money involved for each mode of transportation. Draw a map that shows the routes. Which is the most direct route? Which is the fastest mode? Which mode of transportation is least expensive? Write which means of transportation you prefer and why.
Write three letters from railroad workers to their families: one from a Chinese worker, one from an Irish worker, and one from a white foreman. In your letters, show the different perspectives and experiences of the three groups.
Demonstrate, by creating a diagram, flow chart, or three-dimensional model, some mechanical or engineering aspect of the transcontinental railroad that interests you. For example, you might show how a steam-powered locomotive moved (or stopped), how steel rails for the railroad were manufactured, how railroad tunnels were carved through solid mountains, or how railroad bridges were constructed.
Visit the Time Warp Trio “Old West” page: http://www.timewarptrio.com/adventures/goofy/
Make an advertisement to entice people to move West.
Play games that pioneer children probably did such as jump-rope, hide-and-seek, leapfrog, or blindman's bluff.
Do some cowboy math: http://teacher.scholastic.com/maven/disguise/index.htm
Study a real-life Old West person. Use what you learned about this person to write a monologue about this person in first person. Dress up as the person and perform the monologue for your family or class.