We have just finished up travailing the Oregon Trail.
My kids did lapbook pieces from dynamic2moms. We didn’t do everything. You can see the complete lapbook and download it here. Also, my kids drew in pictures sometimes where pictures were provided if you wanted them. And sometimes we used the prewritten info when we couldn’t written it ourselves.
We mostly used this site for learning about the trail. Each day we gathered around the computer and clicked on the next link and read together. Then I would give them a related lapbook piece or a notebooking page.
My daughter just used blank pages and drew the pictures herself. She loves doing her own pictures, but sometimes she spends too much time on drawing and not enough time on writing.
Both of my kids used this online tool to create an ad to encourage people to join their wagon train and head out west.
We learned about the Gold Rush at this site.
We even visited the Alamo–mostly because all I knew about it was “remember the Alamo” but I didn’t know what I was supposed to remember about. Now I know.
My kids really enjoyed doing these quizzes about the lives of different children.
All of these links can be found on the American History page of the “Links to All Things Free for Homeschoolers”
There are other websites linked there for other ages, notebooking pages, diagram of a wagon, writing idea, Oregon Trail math and more. You can find on there a book called Letters of a Woman Homesteader for a 5th/6th grade reading level.
In working on the link blog I was excited to come across the autobiography of Davy Crockett (it’s on the Robinson page in level 7). I have him listed on the American history page up by the French and Indian war. The book is full of stories as you might imagine. Here are a couple of sentences:
“The next day it rained rip-roriously, and the river rose pretty considerable, but not enough yet. And so I got the boatsmen all to go out with me to where I was going to settle, and we slap’d up a cabin in little or no time.”
Another thing I found was a short story about Davy Crockett and how he realized the Constitution doesn’t give the government the right to tax and use the money however it pleases. He votes against giving money for charity. (He was in the House of Representatives.) I found this very interesting for one because I recently received an email making this same claim. You can read the story for yourself (it’s short). It’s link is on the blog, but here is the link as well. There is a debate over whether or not this really happened, but a bill like the one mentioned did come up at that time.
Here’s another reading on the topic, The Law, which says that the greatest threat to liberty is government, especially as they legalize plunder.
Both are on the Robinson page in level 7. There is an audio book for The Law linked there as well. (The Law is a pdf. The other, Not Yours to Give, you can download or read online.)