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This lesson plan is on Pioneer Life
Language Arts, Social Studies
7, 6, 5, 4
Title – Pioneer Life
By – Kelly England
Subject – Social Studies, Language Arts
Grade Level – 4-7
Focus: What do you think life was like for pioneers on the frontier?
Objective: To write a letter illustrating life on the frontier.
Read the book Westward Ho. (or similar book) and then discuss the following: characteristics of pioneer life.
b. reasons for moving Westward
c. jobs (farmers, laborers, miners, ranchers, etc.)
d. transportation (covered wagons, stagecoaches, horses, etc.)
e. food (vegetables, wild game, fruit, etc.)
f. clothing (types)
g. homes (log homes, homemade furniture)
h. communication (letters by stagecoaches, pony express)
Have students pretend they are pioneers. (They can divide up in small groups or individually) They will write a letter to a friend or relative in the East describing their new life out West and their journey. Students need to include lots of descriptions of their homes, surroundings, and feelings about their new lives.
If needed, the teacher may model the letter writing process on the overhead or may brainstorm ideas to help students get started.
Closure: People who traveled West were called pioneers.
Pioneers traveled out West to escape the law, find a more exciting life, and to get rich.
They had to build their own houses and furniture.
They had to grow their own food.
They had limited transportation and communication.