Welcome to Oregon National Historic Trail Education webpage! Here, you will find a variety of lessons and activities for grades 4-12. The historic trail lessons are an essential lens to understanding the perspectives, pathways and intersections of emigrants, American Indians, white settlers, soldiers and traders throughout the early to late 19th century. We encourage you to incorporate these lessons into your classroom as you deem fit.

We highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the National Park Service’s Teachers Portal: Through the portal, you will have full access to NPS recommended lessons and activities that align with Common Core and State Standards. Simply use the search engine and type in "Oregon National Historic Trail."

We also recommend the following links for tailored and creative lessons regarding the Oregon Trail. Some of these lessons are credited to teachers in local communities, while others link to partner websites and associated trail sites along the OregonTrail.

National Historic Trails Lesson Plan

View the Pathways and Perspectives Lesson Plan.

This 3-5 day lesson focuses on the skills of collaboration and presentation in an effort to teach students about the content and concepts along nine of the national historic trails. The purpose of this is to have them not only research and understand, but also think critically about the pathways and perspectives of trail travelers. This multiday lesson plan was created by a Colorado teacher for national historic trails (see below).

Curriculum Recommendations

Through the National Park Service’s Teacher to Ranger to Teacher Program, in coordination with Colorado University - Denver, an educator joined National Trails Intermountain Region to evaluate existing curriculum for national historic trails, including the Oregon Trail, for placement on a For Teachers website. This is a work in progress and the curriculum to highlight was chosen by our 2017 Teacher Ranger Teacher Program educator Caleb, a Colorado high school teacher. These curriculum options bring the trail to the classroom (work in progress).

Bureau of Land Management - Pack Your Wagon
National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center

Oregon-California Trails Association - OCTA Journals
Diaries and Publications contains primary resources and mini lessons.

Teacher Ranger Teacher Program

More about Caleb and his work as a Teacher Ranger Teacher
About the Teacher Ranger Teacher program and opportunities for teachers

Last updated: February 12, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

National Trails Intermountain Region
Oregon National Historic Trail
PO Box 728

Santa Fe, NM 87504


(801) 741-1012

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