Westward ho! If you travel across certain parts of the United States, you can still see wagon wheel ruts where people crossed the west in search of more opportunity and better lives more than 200 years ago! The Oregon Trail: The Journey Across the Country from Lewis and Clark to the Transcontinental Railroad offers readers ages 9 to 12 a fascinating look at the explorers and settlers who traveled this route during the westward expansion of the United States.
When America received its independence in 1776, the new country was made up of 13 colonies that became the United States of America. European immigrants continued to arrive in the new country, eager to make new lives for themselves and their families. By 1803, there were 17 states and a need for even more space. The United States doubled its land area with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Corps of Discovery to explore and map a territory that had only been seen by fur trappers and the Native Americans who lived there. The expedition into the American west, more popularly known as the Lewis and Clark expedition, left from Independence, Missouri for more than two years of exploration that produced a route for American settlers to take. The route was the Oregon Trail, also known as the Oregon and California Trail.
In The Oregon Trail: The Journey Across the Country from Lewis and Clark to the Transcontinental Railroad, readers ages 9 to 12 can delve into the explorations of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and other explorers. They can learn about the more than half a million people who followed during the nineteenth century. What challenges did these pioneers face on the 2,170-mile journey? How were Native American tribes and nations affected by this mass migration? Primary sources allow readers to feel like a part of the Oregon Trail experience while biographical sidebars will introduce the compelling people who were part of this time in U.S. history. Investigative, hands-on projects and critical thinking activities such as writing a treaty and researching artistic impressions of the Oregon Trail invite readers to further their understanding of life on the trail, early towns and forts, and the Transcontinental Railroad that followed the wagons into new lands and territories that would eventually become states.
Nomad Press books in the Build It Yourself series integrate content with participation. Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, and STEM Education all place project-based learning as key building blocks in education. Combining content with inquiry-based projects stimulates learning and makes it active and alive. Nomad’s unique approach simultaneously grounds kids in factual knowledge while allowing them the space to be curious, creative, and critical thinkers.
About the Author
Karen Bush Gibson is the author of more than 30 nonfiction books for children and a member of the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators. One of her books about women aviators was named a 2014 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People by the NCSS and a selection in Air & Space/Smithsonian‘s Best Children’s Books of 2013 roundup of aviation and space-themed books. Karen lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Tom Casteel is an illustrator and cartoonist with a master's degree from the Center for Cartoon Studies. Tom has illustrated several books for Nomad Press, including The Brain: Journey Through the Universe Inside Your Head; Cities: Discover How They Work; and Human Migration: Investigate the Global Journey of Humankind. Tom lives in South Bend, Indiana.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Journey Begins
Paint the Oregon Trail
Chapter 1: A Land Deal
Examine the Words of Thomas Jefferson
Write a Treaty
How Did the Louisiana Purchase Change America?
Mapping the Changes of the United States
Where in the World Are You?
Exploring the Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny
Chapter 2: Exploring the West
Mapping Lewis and Clark and the Overland Astorians
Create a Storyboard of Sacagawea’s Life
Chapter 3: New Beginnings
Keep a Journal
Write a Letter
Create a Newspaper
Chapter 4: Life on the Trail
Packing for a Trip
Chapter 5: The End of the Trail
Build a Fort
Chapter 6: The Transcontinental Railroad
Through the Eyes of a Native American Teen
Where Do You Come From?
Reporting on the Transcontinental Railroad
Mapping the Railroads
Always in the Middle
The Oregon Trail is a superb addition to anyone’s historical non-fiction library shelf. Never boring and always fascinating, jump on board the next wagon and enjoy the ride.