Lesson Plan

Traveling the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails

Image of the first page of the lesson plan Traveling the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
90 Minutes


This lesson is designed to review the purpose of the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails. The students will also expand their knowledge of each trail and put a plan together for a trip on each trail. This plan will include a packing list for their wagons. The students will use primary sources to help form their plans and packing list.


The background for this lesson would have occurred for several weeks while talking about Westward Expansion. We would have discussed the trails in previous lessons and discussed the different purposes of different trails. It is important that the students understand that the trails were travelled for different reasons. The teacher presented this information to the students. The students will use primary sources and the Internet to come up with their plan and packing list with the hope that the students notice the difference in the preparation for each trip.

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Last updated: September 20, 2017