Monday, June 12, 2017

Oregon Trail Day 1

One of best things about our kids' school happens in Fourth Grade. Over the past 15 years they have developed a Oregon Trail/Pioneer/History curriculum that involves a 5 day simulation experience of being "on the trail". It involves dressing the part, making covered wagons, daily history lessons, births, deaths, marriages, and lots and lots of walking. Evelyn has been looking forward to this since before she was even in school, as we used to sit on our driveway when she was little and watch the "march of the pioneers" as they meandered thru our neighborhood.

What's even cooler is that the Morris family actually came across the Oregon Trail from Kansas back in the late 1800's. Doug's dad and Uncle have lots of stories that were passed onto them recalling their family's trip across the country. Evelyn has enjoyed hearing and reading about these stories from her Grandad and it made her more excited for this even to get started!

First... we needed an outfit. Since I am just learning how to sew, making a pioneer costume would not be something I could do. Thankfully we know people who have older kids who went thru this recently and so we had clothes to borrow!!

 My little pioneer! Thank you, Graeper family for letting us borrow such an authentic outfit!

The Morris family did NOT come across the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon. Instead, they came in a  two-wheeled "horse cart". It was smaller, more agile, and made it across the trail with not much trouble. Evelyn's Grandad and Great Uncle actually remember the cart being on their homestead in Cove, OR, almost 100 years after it crossed! Evelyn got a drawing of the cart from her Grandad along with fun stories. It really helped make a personal connection to this whole thing for my sweet girl. And she LOVED building the cart with her dad (well, Doug did most of it.. and it turned out AMAZING!!)

The kids in Evelyn's class were divided into "families". Each family had a covered wagon (or a cart...heehee) that had to hold a certain amount of supplies for the "months" (5 days really) on the trail. Evelyn's cart was smaller, but it fit everything perfectly!

The week of "The Trail" started today. The kids were surprised with a unexpected pancake breakfast before they headed out from Independence, Missouri (hypothetically of course).

Some of the cooking crew... we made over 300 pancakes in the very small teacher's lounge. 

Ready for the kids to eat!
Where it started many years ago...

Sweet Alexis
Elle was "pregnant" on the trail, along with several other girls. Since her mom just had a baby, she did a great job acting the part, rubbing her belly (which was a bag of flour) and waddling. I think this girl is pretty awesome, and thankful that her and Evelyn are good friends!

The "really, mom?" smile! :)

The Putnam family... they were so cute! 
Hawkeye, aka Mr. Peterson. He was ready for a fun week, as were all the teachers. They prepare for this all year, and he was ready to get going. His energy is infectious!

The "Huckleberry Rubberduckies" (OBOB team) were all in different families on the trail, but they made sure to connect often. Love these four faces!! 
Sherman and Jane Putman. Evelyn wasn't thrilled about having to be married, but Marques is such a good kid and they get along well. I think they will do well leading their family! :)

Xavier and Jack...two of my favorite boys in 4th grade! 

Their first group meeting... excited to get started. 

The pioneers left Independence, Missouri and headed out towards Fort Kearney. The trek led the around the school property and then off property into the forest that surrounds our school. Very "trail like" conditions and paths. 

Circling the wagons for snack, hunting, sewing, and school for the pioneer children.

Evelyn... I mean Jane.. is the school teacher for the week. She has taken this job very seriously and was prepared with lessons for the kids. 

The kids made butter, too. Fun!
Me and my girl....
Some pioneers get sick or even die on the trail. These are our first two victims. 
Poor Brendan!

A very fun first day on the trail! The kids were tired but also excited for what the rest of the week will hold!!

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