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Pony Express Quest

 





 


Teacher Tips/Suggestions

The activity of using your county/state as the background for when the kids are forming their proposals of where their invented pony express route will go can be used as a state history requirement.

The Pony Express Social Studies/Math Activity: http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/gen_act/travel/pony.html

The Students can do a little "reenactment" of a pony express ride (maybe something like a relay). Have the Riders build stick horses, the Station Keepers build "stations," and the Stock Managers could be the ones to randomly present different obstacles/challenges to the Riders and Station Keepers (sort of like the game of life).

You can organize a field trip and have students go on a trail ride. http://www.easyfunschool.com/article1597.html this site is a lesson plan about horses, safety, and riding.

Each student could pick a name from history (or make up their own--in the case of girls this might be necessary if they feel uncomfortable pretending to be a boy), do some research on that person or character, and then do a first person presentation or journal entry as if they actually were that person. They would need to talk/write about what it felt like to be on the pony express, what challenges/obstacles they faced, and how they overcame them. They could even dress up how they think that person would have dressed.

Some Pony Express Stations have become historical sites and the class could take a field trip to one, or you could ask the historical site if they would be willing to send a historical reenactor or a historian out to come to your school and talk about the Pony Express. You could also visit/contact other historical sites that were around during the same time as the Pony Express so that the children could get a more general feel for the time period.

There are many wonderful books available about the Pony Express, but "Bronco Charlie and the Pony Express" would be a wonderful tale to read because at 11 years old he was the youngest rider on the trail.

You could use this webquest to teach the students about trails and how they are marked. Home made trail markings: http://inquiry.net/outdoor/skills/seton/blazes.htm and Universal trail marking system http://borntoexplore.org/trails/trail_markings.htm.