The Oregon Trail:

A Pioneer's Perspective

After three weeks of "playing" a simulation game of The Oregon Trail to incorporate reading skills and other genre reading, students share their  Wagon Company's experience.

Question: Explain to our readers what life was like on The Oregon Trail.

It was hard; some of my friends died or were injured. The game was fun. -Kaylee

It was very hard. I have seen my teamates injurd and some die, but some were lucky. -Robert

Lots of people didn't really enjoy it because they got really hurt/injured and we had to face some very difficult consequences. We had to leave some stuff behind that we dearly loved very much, and we just had to forget about it and move on. We also had some people die along the way. -Karly R.

Many pioneers disliked the trail because it took so long, and there were so many hard decisions to make, and it was tiring. - Max J.

Question: What were some of the hardships the Pioneers faced on the trail?                                                    

Some people got hurt and some died of cholera. Some pioneers lost alot of supplies.   -Kaylee

Cholera, stampeds, hunting, accidents, Native American attacks, and  low supplies.   -Robert

Some people died of Cholera, they ran into ShoShone Indians and some of were injured trying to kill them, a few people got injured or drowned while crossing the rivers, and if water got in the mules' ears, they would possibly drown also. -Karly R.

Many people had to go barefoot after long traveling, and when they had to cross shallow streams, their feet were icy cold. -Max J.

Question: What were some of the mishaps your Wagon Company faced in class that would have been similar to the real Pioneers?  

We had our wagon stuck in the mud and we lost our animals. -Kaylee

We experienced sinking wagons while traveling and during a river crossing, animals and people drowned. -Robert

Most of the people that died, died of Cholera. We had to sell, buy, and also leave some stuff behind, so we could travel up the hills and mountains easier. We only got a certain amount of money to use on the trip to buy important things that we needed to live on. -Karly R.

Our wagon sank while crossing the Platte River, and our mules drown. -Max J.

We lost several of our favorite characters along the way.....................

Choosing What Matters

Pioneers of the Oregon Trail didn't have the luxury of packing several suitcases and loading all of their technology. They couldn't just pull into a 24-hour Wal-Mart and buy anything they forgot along the way. Pioneers had to be picky about what they packed; and what they packed mattered.

Question: What is one item you feel is important if you were on the Oregon Trail as a Pioneer?

The pilot. -Carly C.

Horse shoes because the mules would not walk crooked. -Christian

Money to buy things needed. -Miya

Question: What is one item you would not leave home without if you were traveling on a long journey in today's time?

Navigational items: maps and GPS systems. -Carly C.

Food. -Christian

Money and electronics to buy if I'm bored. -Miya

Jobs Along the Trail

Each student chose a role to play in the game. We learned that being a banker didn't mean you had the best "job." We learned that doctors in the days of the pioneers weren't "rich." And although all roles were equally needed and held purpose and substance within a Wagon Company, not all students were as equally excited to have that role.

Question: What did you feel was the best job as a pioneer and why?

A hunter because you can get food for your team. -Jasper

Blacksmith because you get to make and fix things. -Toby

Hunter because I like to hunt. -Keyshawn

A doctor because you can help people if they get sick or they are not feeling well.        -Erica