Chapter 1: Springfield, Illinois 1846

Teacher's Guide Author: Rich Foster, 4th grade teacher, Rose Warren Elementary School, Clark County School District

Chapter Overview: The book begins in the year 1846 in Springfield, Illinois. Patty has a wooden doll that she carries everywhere she goes, in her apron pocket. Patty is eight years old and loves to listen to Grandma's stories of her early pioneer days. Her stories tell of how "she crossed creeks with ugly steep banks." They were always on the lookout for Indians in the brush. When they finally arrived in Springfield, they took up claims and cleared the land. After hearing all the stories, Patty was very excited because she was going to be a pioneer and cross the plains herself to California. Patty Reed's doll felt very fortunate to be Patty's doll because Patty's older sister Puss, fourteen years old, forgot her doll family. Grandma insisted on taking the trip, but the adults were not for it. They went on to pack up the wagons with all the family's necessities. They made a palace car for Grandma. Her car had two stories with a smokestack through the canvas.

Chapter Themes:Excitement, storytelling, and preparation

Chapter Activities

*Language Arts
- Grama's Stories
- Students will make stories about pioneering. They will research books such as Lewis and Clark, Covered Wagons and Daniel Boone. They will write these stories in a journal and share with class.
-Standards Addressed
-5.4.4 Response to literature
-4.5.1 Participate in daily writing activities
- Vocabulary Web
-Students will create a vocabulary web to identify new words they encounter when researching the books. The web will include a synonym, the word used in a sentence, and a dictionary meaning.
-Standards Addressed
-1.4.5 Use knowlege of vocabulary and context clues
-1.4.4 Use of dictionary
* Mathematics
-Inventory list
- Students will make a list objects that they want to take on their journey. They have to limit the weight to 500 lbs. Students will estimate the weight of each object and within the weight limit.
- Standards Addressed
-3.4.1 Estimation
-1.4.7 Add and subtract multi-digit numbers
-Budget activity
-Students will be provided $200 to buy their items. The teacher will determine the cost of items. This will also teach them to prioritize.
-Standards Addressed
-3.4.4 (3.7) Determine totals for monetary amounts
-3.4.4 (3.8) Use money notation to add and subtract
*Social Studies
-Research westward expansion
-TSW create a KWL whole group. Students will write and discuss what they know about pioneering. They will list what they want to find out. Next, students will research and investigate westward expansion during the early 1800's.
- Standards Addressed
-6.5.17 US and Nevada pioneers moving west
-6.6.0 Organize research findings
-Moment in time
-TSW draw or paint an event that they experienced or observed on their journey. They can use pictures from the internet or books. To organize their findings, students will complete a timeline of major events.
-Standards Addressed
-6.0 Organize research
-11.4.4 Record information from nonprint resources
-TSW research using the internet and science books on plants from the library plants. They must dtermine if the plants are edible or poisonous. They will name and label the different parts of the plants and illustrate by drawing or painting. TSW share their findings with an oral presentation
-Standards Addressed
-6.4.2 Classifying skills
-9.4.3 Give organized presentations
- Making a covered wagon
-TSW make covered wagon from materials such as card board, paper, straws, and cloth. They are identify the different parts of the wagon and determine their function. Making their covered wagon with correct demensions and right angles are to be stressed to be functional and durable.
-Standards Addressed
-4.4.4 Identfy and describe two and three dimensional objects
- 4.4.6 label and identify lines, rays and angles

Historical Overview of Chapter Themes

Students will be asked to research why the pioneer headed west. They will find out who forged the trails before the pioneers. They will learn about some of the historical events that occurred along the way. Some of these will include: Oregon trial, Indian conflicts, foreign countries, Monroe Doctrine, and the annexation of large lands such as Texas and Oregon.


Christy G. Keeler, Ph.D. said...

I like how you give students the opportunity to consider the purposes of each part of the wagon. Then, they could research the parts of the wagon and compare their predictions with the real uses.

Franks said...

I like the math idea of making a list of items to bring on the journey, estimate the objects weighted within limit of 500lbs. It would be neat to bring in selected real items that are similar or would be brought on a journey to create accurate weight because were much heavier than items found today. (For example: a metal skillet, metal toy) Also with the budget find accurate costs for each food item.
An idea I had is Patty loved her doll. Students could bring in their favorite doll, stuffed animal or toy that never leaves their side and write a story about a time they had their toy with the on a trip or describe reasons for their chosen toy is their favorite.