The Task:


 Your father has lost his job and is out of work.  He has heard people talking about the fertile land and opportunities that are waiting in the Oregon Territories.  He has decided to sell his home and most of your families' belongings, buy some oxen and a covered wagon and head out west.  Your family of five heads to St. Joseph, Arkansas, the "jumping off" point for people traveling on the Oregon Trail.  You have met up with several other families that will be traveling with you for the next several months. 

As a small group(3-4 people) you will need to map your route from your starting point in St. Joseph to your ending point in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.  You only have the money your father has made selling your belongings to start your trip.  There are five mouths to feed along the trail, and with one small wagon you must decided which items are necessary to travel with you.  Each person in your group will have a specific job they will do:

1.  Wagon Train Leader:  You are in charge of your entire wagon train.  You decide the route to take based off of the map that was drawn up by your party. You decided how long you travel each day, where you camp each night, and when the wagon train is in danger.  Your job is to keep the entire wagon train safe from harm.  On the map you should mark the places on the rivers where it was safest to cross, places you camped, and

2.  Scout:  You are in charge of the map.  Your job is to know where the forts and landmarks are on the map.  You will find the stopping points for the party to get new supplies, and know each river and where to cross.  You are always on the lookout for thieves, Native Americans and wild animals.  Keep a journal of your findings, draw any new animals or plants that you find along the way. 

3. Medicine Man/Doctor:  You are in charge of caring for the sick. There are many diseases and illness that people can catch along the trail.  It is your job to know all the possible sicknesses and how best to care for them.  Keep a notebook of sicknesses and possible treatments to use along the trail as you need it. 

4.  Cook/Supply Man:  You are in charge of making the meals.  With so many people to care for in your wagon train, you must decide how to ration the food to make it last.  You are also in charge of gathering supplies when you arrive at the forts and stocking up on all of the things that you run out of along the way.   You will need lists of all your supplies starting out, and lists of the things that you bought along the way.

After you have made your journey to the Willamette Valley, as a group draw a poster of your homestead.  What did this new land look like?