Posts Tagged ‘Oregon Trail’

Play History!

November 4th, 2010

Hi!  It’s Thursday, November, 4, 2010 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Playing History

Age Range: 8-18 (Mostly Grades 4-12, younger children and non-readers will need assistance. Parents must preview for suitable content.)

ClickScholar Cie pointed out this website that offers an archive of links to over 100 free, interactive, digital games and simulations about U.S. and World History, civics, and geography. Many of these educational games were created by foundations and universities and combine academic knowledge with the latest digital technology.

When you get to the site you’ll see some of the featured games. You can use the search engine or simply click on the small horizontal menu tab at the top of the page that says, “Browse Games.”  A new page opens with a smorgasbord of choices such as:

*Franklin’s Interactive Lifetime – Learn about Benjamin Franklin and his interests in communication, science, politics and diplomacy

*Argument Wars – Debate historical U.S. Supreme Court cases.

*Oregon Trail – Journey by covered wagon across 2000 miles of plains, rivers, and mountains.

*The Adventure Train – Take a cross-Canada tour of railroad history.

*Inca Investigation – Discover what life was like for the people of the Huánuco Pampa.

*Discover Babylon – Explore three periods of Mesopotamian history.

*Build Your Own Parthenon – Learn about ancient Greece and architecture.

Click on any one and a new page opens with a screenshot of the game. In many cases you’ll see reviewer comments in the “Recent Ratings & Reviews” by those who register at this site. (It’s not necessary to register to access the games.)  Some of the comments are helpful; some not so much. It is unclear to me if these comments are monitored by the site owners, so parents should preview to determine suitability of content.

In addition to games, this site links to educational and trivia quizzes. I found a “Place The State” geography game too. A couple of games led to broken links such as a game called, “How Weird Are You?” from the History Channel. 

Some of the titles seem a bit odd or cover topics that are controversial.  Therefore, I’ll say it again, PARENTS, AS ALWAYS, SHOULD PREVIEW AND SUPERVISE USE OF THIS SITE.

History Through Barbed Wire & More!

October 12th, 2006

Recommended Website:
Barb Wire Museum

Note on age range: Keep in mind that kids’ interests are different, as are their learning styles. There may be aspects of this site that appeal to all ages in one way or another.

History is one subject that has been traditionally taught through mind-numbing textbooks. You really don’t need them to learn about history. Everything in our environment has a history.

All you need to do is find out more about an item that piques your interest — and you will inevitably learn some history along the way. To prove the point, take a look at today’s website, The Barb Wire Museum. As explained at the website, it provides “the history of barbed wire, its artifacts, the significance of the invention, and the impact on the development of the Old West.”

When you get to the site you’ll see a welcome message and a menu bar above it. Put your cursor over “Barb Wire Collecting” to see a drop-down menu. Use it to learn about the history of barb wire and why it’s called “The Devil’s Rope,” how to make barb wire, view various illustrations of barb wire, and you can even see a collage of barbed wire images.

As I mentioned, learning about one obscure thing can springboard you to a history lesson that encompasses many topics. For example, barbed wire was instrumental in the development of the Old West. Click on “Western History” on the menu to learn how barbed wire was used in cattle management. From there, you can learn all about the history of cattle brands. Who knew?

If this sparks an interest in any topic about the Old West, then visit a site that has a directory of links to quality academic content about Westward Expansion.

You’ll find information on all kinds of people and events including:

  • The Alamo
  • Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show
  • The Donner Party
  • Lewis and Clark
  • The California Gold Rush
  • The Hatfield-McCoy Family Feud
  • Mountain Men & the Fur Trade
  • The Oregon Trail
  • Pioneer Life in Ohio
  • Doc Holliday
  • Sakajawea
  • The Santa Fe Trail
  • The Spanish Missions of California
  • The Transcontinental Railroad
  • Brigham Young
  • and much more!

You may want to bookmark this second site to return often. :)

Tramline Educational Field Trips

September 24th, 2004

Recommended Website:
Tramline Virtual Field Trips

Tramline Website features FREE Virtual Field Trips created for students in grades K-12 by educators using a software program that provides a host of navigation and orientation aids absent in other field trip formats. It helps to organize the chaos of the Web and saves the student and teacher hours of Internet research time.

When you get to the website you will see an introduction. Scroll down a little to see a menu of field trips that are divided into three sections:

  • Science Field Trips — Includes virtual field trips to learn about Antartica, Dinosaurs, Oceans, Insects, Sharks, Hurricanes, Volanoes, and more.
  • Other Field Trips — Includes virtual field trips to learn about the American Presidency, The Dark Ages, Filmmaking, Flight, Leonardo da Vinci, The Oregon Trail, Shakespeare, Women’s History, Pi and more!
  • Teachers Resource Field Trips — Some information for teachers about using the Field Trips at this site with resources for other complementary teaching tools as well.

Under any of the above sections, click on the title of the field trip that interests you and a new page opens with specific instructions on how to navigate the site to get the most out of the tour. Although it may seem a little awkward at first, once you try it with one virtual field trip — the format is the same for every
field trip archived at the site — making navigation much easier in the long run.

This is a fantastic educational tool, so bookmark it and return to take the many field trips offered — and explore new trips as they are added to the site.

Virtual Field Trips with Lesson Plans

March 12th, 2004

Recommended Website:

Oh, the teacher in you is going to love this web site! An educator who loves real field trips has developed this site so that teachers, students and homeschoolers can enhance their studies with field trips on the information highway. With virtual field trips for art, geography, history, literature, math, music, and science — she has done all of the curriculum planning and research for you and includes objectives, lesson plans, questions and answers, and additional activities to further learning too.

When you get to the site you will see a menu and a brief introduction. Click on the “Tour Guide” button for an explanation of how this site works. Then, explore the lists of field trips by subject. Click on any one and a new page opens with a description of the field trip and the learning goals. Click on “Go” to begin your Field Trip. A new page opens with the “Lesson & Navigation Plan” and a step-by-step guided tour that will provide a multi-media presentation of the subject matter. Here are just a few of the field trip titles to whet your appetite:

  • Sistine Chapel
  • Oregon Trail
  • Roller Coasters
  • Whale Watching
  • Treasure Island
  • William Shakespeare
  • American Sign Language
  • Bureau of Engraving & Printing
  • Western Composers
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • National Zoo
  • and much more!

You could build a year’s worth of curriculum (or more!) around what is available at this website. It’s a great demonstration of the classroom of the future!

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Over 35 Virtual Field Trips!

February 5th, 2004

Recommended Website:
Tramline: Virtual Field Trips

Bookmark this site now! You will want to return to take some of the remarkable virtual field trips archived here. Sponsored by a company that produces software to help teachers create virtual field trips for their classroom students, this website features some of the interesting and educational virtual field trip activities that teachers have created for their elementary through high school students. These virtual field trips meet national curriculum standards.

When you get to the site, you will see a brief introduction along with some instructions and printable forms for classroom teacher use. Scroll down and you will see two menus that include:

  • Science Field Trips — a selection of virtual activities to explore Antarctica, Aquifers, Baking Bread, Deserts, Dinosaurs, Endangered Species, Fierce Creatures, Getting Green, Hurricanes, Insects & Mini-beasts, Natural Wonders, Oceans, Rainforest, Salt Marshes, Sharks, Temperate Forest Biome, Tornadoes, Volcanoes, and Wildfires.
  • Other Field Trips — a selection of virtual activities to learn about American Presidents, Authors, the Dark Ages, Flight, Filmmaking, Iditarod, Leonardo da Vinci, Lewis & Clark, The Oregon Trail, Photography, Pi, Poetry, Shakespeare, Women’s History, and more.

Don’t let the grade range indicated by each topic stop you from checking it out. Families will find something for everyone to enjoy at all of these sites — little ones will like the pictures, older students will enjoy the information, and everyone can participate in the suggested activities to one degree or another.

Choose the destination that interests you and click your way to a pre-trip preparation page that gives some basic info on what you will discover on the field trip along with the objectives. Then click on “Start Field Trip” to begin. A new page opens with detailed instructions on how to maneuver your way through the virtual tour that includes photographs and text housed on various selected websites on the Internet. You can extrapolate information from the text (presented in a user-friendly way) to talk about what you are seeing with kids who don’t read yet — or you can let the kids read the info themselves. These virtual excursions include history, scientific information, and some fun activities that you can do at home to further the experience. You will also find links to other sites for more study and research.

This site provides a great demonstration of the learning assignments and explorations that are available through the Internet — providing a peek into the classroom of the future.

P.S. Please don’t keep ClickSchooling a secret! Forward this review (in its entirety, please) to your friends, support groups, or anyone that you think would enjoy it. Invite them to join ClickSchooling by visiting:


History — The Donner Party

February 22nd, 2001

Recommended Website:
Donner Online

It was in late February of 1845 when the emigrant Donner Party was rescued from its tragic fate in the Sierra Mountains. At this website students follow a lesson course in which they collect information and images about the Donner Party and “paste” them into a multimedia scrapbook. When you get to the site the instructions describe the task and explain the process for how the students are to accomplish it.

First, the student collects historical background about the Oregon Trail and the Donner Party. Then the student chooses a role as either:

  • A Historian – collecting in-depth background info
  • A Diarist – collecting first-hand accounts of the crossing
  • A Cartographer – collecting maps of the pass
  • A Pictorialist – finding illustrations of the area and people
  • A Jester – finding humor associated with the tragedy
  • A Provisioner – finding out what to bring on a crossing
  • A Scientist – finding insights to starvation and physical stress

Once the information is collected, the student refines it and creates the multimedia Scrapbook.

All of the links needed to conduct the research and create the Scrapbook are provided. The project was designed for a group of students but can be easily tailored to the homeschool environment as well.

The Donner Party offers a glimpse into the history of this country along with insight into the risks humans take to gain opportunity. This project is well-designed and an excellent addition to any history curriculum.