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JoCoHistory

Overland Trails Curriculum Guide

Full Lesson Plan

  • Full lesson plan - Web
  • Full lesson plan - PDF

Background Information

Activities

To Learn More

Links on this Website

Books for Teachers

  • Faragher, John Mark. Women and Men on the Overland Trail. New Haven: Yale
    University Press, 1979.
  • Franzwa, Gregory M. The Oregon Trail Revisited. St. Louis: Patrice Press, 1988.
  • Horn, Huston. The Pioneers. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1974.
  • Drumm, Stella, ed. Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico: The Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846-1847. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982.
  • Morgan, Dale, ed. Overland in 1846: Diaries and Letters of the Overland Experience.
    2 vols. Georgetown, CA: Talisman Press, 1963.
  • Myers, Sandra L., ed. Ho for California: Women's Overland Diaries from the Huntington Library. San Marino: Huntington Library, 1980.
  • Rounds, Glen. The Prairie Schooners. New York: Holiday House, Inc., 1968.
  • Russell, Marian. Land of Enchantment: Memoirs of Marian Russell along the Santa Fe Trail. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1981.
  • Schlissel, Lillian. Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey. New York: Schocken Books, 1982.
  • Simmons, Marc, ed. On the Santa Fe Trail. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1986
  • Unruh, John D. The Plains Across: The Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-60. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1982.
  • Books for Students

    Byars, Betsy. The Golly Sisters Go West. Harper, 1986.
    Illustrated. May-May and Rose Golly travel westward in a covered wagon, entertaining crowds and having misadventures along the way.

    Chambers, Catherine. Frontier Dream: Life on the Great Plains. Troll, 1984.
    A Scandinavian family relocates from Omaha to the Dakota territory and struggles to make a home on the plains. Characters are individualized, hardships and set-backs are described, and the book gives a feeling for the vastness and loneliness of the Great Plains.

    Levitan, Sonia. The No-Return Trail. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978.
    This fictionalized account of the Bidwell-Bartleson expedition to California in 1841 recreates the hardships and dangers of that journey. Seventeen-year-old Nancy Kelsey is the first woman to make the grueling overland passage.

    MacLachlan, Patricia. Sarah, Plain and Tall. Harper & Row, 1985.
    Anna and Caleb need a mother; their father, Jacob, needs a wife; so Sarah Wheaton agreed to come West from Maine for a month to get to know them. As she joins in the everyday tasks of farm life, Sarah endears herself to the family.

    Parkman, Francis. The Oregon Trail. Farrar and Rinehart, 1991.
    Considered one of the best books written about the West and a faithful record of life beyond the Mississippi before the California Gold Rush in 1849.

    Round, Glen. Mr. Yowder and the Windwagon. Holiday House, 1983.
    Mr. Yowder attempts to change the great ox-drawn wagons used to carry emigrants across the plains into swift schooners, or "windwagons."

    Waddell, Martin. Going West. Harper, 1984.
    Illustrated. An accurate and easily understood account of the hardships faced by pioneers at the time of Westward movement as recorded in a small girl's diary as she and her family travel west in a wagon train.

    Webb, Dave. Adventures with the Santa Fe Trail: An Activity Book for Kids and Teachers. Kansas Heritage Center, 1989.
    An activity book covering different aspects of the Santa Fe Trail. Includes biographies of "Trail Travelers."

    Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House on the Prairie. Harper, 1953.
    One of 8 titles by Laura Ingalls Wilder of her memories of her pioneer childhood.

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