Dear Pioneers,

We are beginning to embark on an adventure!
We are going to load our wagons, kiss our kin goodbye, and head for the Oregon Territory. We will be joining the Westward Ho! Wagon Train with other classrooms across the country. Through this simulated online project, we will be making decisions that will affect our safe arrival in Oregon.

Below is an outline of the activities we will be doing along with tentative dates. You will also find websites and documents that we will use along the way. We are actually doing our project before the official online project begins.

Godspeed and safe traveling to all you brave souls!

Westward Ho! Online Project

Week 1
August 22-26
Pick family members, decide on surname and each person's pioneer identity. Draw and write about his/her identity.
Week 2
August 29-Sept. 2
Finish our identities. Decide on some supplies. Write an "Oregon Fever" letter.
Week 3
Sept. 6-9
We will begin traveling. Each day students will be faced with two fate cards. Their family will usually have to make a decision. Students will write journal articles each day.
Week 4
Sept. 12-16
Continue on the trail by making more decisions, and writing more journal entries.
Week 5
Sept. 19-22
Final traveling day. Their biggest decision will be made this week. Then we celebrate at Willamette Valley (hopefully), finish up our journals, write a letter about what they will do now in Oregon, and have our Pioneer Celebration! Our celebration will be on Sept. 22.

Step 1: Choose your family's identity. Use the websites below to choose the surname of your family. After you have chosen your surname, each person in your family must choose their name and develop an identity. Make sure all your family agrees with who you are going to be. When your family is in agreement, draw a picture of your pioneer and develop their identity. Write about your identity by explaining your name, age, occupation, past experiences, family role, appearance, personality traits, aspirations, hopes, and dreams. Be creative and use historical facts in your identity as much as possible. Check out the scoring guide to make sure you fulfill all requirements. We will scan your drawn picture and add it to your written identity on Word when you are finished.

Westward Ho Identities
Women's Identities of the Oregon Trail
Frontier Personalities

Pioneer Identity Scoring Guide

Step 2: Most pioneers had a guidebook to take with them to point our landmarks and help with problems that might come along. You are not going to fill out a guidebook, but the information that might help you along the way is below.

How to Stay Healthy
How to Prevent Boredom
Oregon Trail Map
Landmarks Along the Trail
Crossing Rivers
Tricks of the Trail

Step 3: Now it is time to decide on the supplies your family will be taking. Look at the resources below to begin deciding what you will need to take with you. Your family will have $1600 to spend during the whole journey. You will probably want to save some money for unexpected expenses along the way. You will be keeping track of your expenses using Excel and a budget booklet for you family.

Provisions for the Trail
Supply List

Step 4: Now that you are all prepared to go, you need to write a letter to the family back home. Remember how difficult it would be to leave your other family behind while you are going on a dangerous journey that will last for about six months. The body should include imagining you are your character and what it was like to be leaving your friends and relatives to emigrate to the Oregon Country. What would you say to a close friend about your journey? How do you feel about the journey ahead? Why have you (or why has your family) decided to go on this journey? What do you expect to see on the journey? What challenges will you face? What will you say to your friend when you know you may never meet again?

Make sure you write this in a friendly letter format. Use these sites if you don't remember how to write a friendly letter. For the address, just put the city. Don't worry about a zip code or street address.

Writing a Friendly Letter

Step 5: You are now beginning your trip on the Oregon Trail. Each day you will be faced with decisions to make as a family. Many of the decisions require some research in order to have a good fate. Use the websites below when you get to the travel and fate card with the same number. Some of the websites show pictures of the location where you are on the trail. Each day you will be required to write at least one journal entry telling about the events you have experienced on the trail. You may also add in extra information to make the journal more interesting. Your grade will be based on your creativity, accuracy of the details, and making your journals interesting and believable.

Independence, Missouri: Site #1, Site #2
Travel and Fate #2: Cholera
Travel and Fate #3: Mileposts, River Crossing
Travel and Fate #6: Wakarusa River

Travel and Fate #8: Fremont #1, Fremont #2, Carson #1, Carson #2
Travel and Fate #9:Old Time Remedies, Frontier Medicine
Travel and Fate #10: Fort Kearny, Fort Kearny 2
Travel and Fate #12: Gilman's Station
Travel and Fate #15: Site #1, Site #2, Site #3
Between #15 and #18: Courthouse Rock, Site #2
Travel and Fate #18: Chimney Rock, Site #2 (check out the 360 degree view
Travel and Fate #19: Scotts Bluff, Scotts Bluff #2
Travel and Fate #20: Horse Creek Crossing
Travel and Fate #22: Fort Laramie #1, Fort Laramie #2
Travel and Fate #23: Register Cliff
Between #23 and #27: Ayers Natural Bridge
Travel and Fate #27: Alkali
Travel and Fate #28: Saleratus Lake
Travel and Fate #29: Independence Rock, Picture, Site #3, Site #4
Travel and Fate #30: Devil's Gate, Site #2, Site #3
Travel and Fate #31: Ice Slough
Travel and Fate #32: South Pass, Site #2, Site #3, Continental Divide
Travel and Fate #33: Parting of the Ways
Travel and Fate #34: Fort Bridger, Site #2
Travel and Fate #35: Sublette Cutoff
Travel and Fate #37: Soda Springs, Geysers #2, Hot Springs
Travel and Fate #38: Fort Hall, Site #2
Travel and Fate #39: Massacre Rocks, Site #2
Travel and Fate #40: 3 Island Crossing, Site #2, Site #3, Site #4
Travel and Fate #40(2): Farewell Bend, Site 2
Travel and Fate #41: Blue Mountains, Wagon Roads
Travel and Fate #42: Deadman's Pass, Site #2 (go to the end of the article) Site #3
Travel and Fate #43: Whitman's Mission, Site #2, Site #3, Site #4

Barlow Road: Site #1, Site #2, Site #3
Columbia Gorge: Site #1, Site #2, Site #3
Willamette Valley: Site #1
Oregon City: Site #1, Site #2