The Oregon Trail

Learning Object — Video
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Video: The Oregon Trail

Discover why thousands of Americans left their homes in the East to endure months of hardship to settle in the West. Describes life on a wagon train. Learn about the special challenges of the trip, as well as the day-to-day routine, via re-enactments of the entire trip between Missouri and the West Coast.

Student Application

Why would anyone pick up their belongings and leave their homes and head across a continent in a covered wagon? The emigrants who traveled the Oregon Trail and settled in the West had many reasons.

Learning Objectives

  1. Students will realize that in the 1800's the United States acquired a great deal of land. After Thomas Jefferson increased the size of the country by obtaining the Louisiana Territory from the French, politicians began to speak of the country's "Manifest Destiny," which meant that it was the predetermination of the United States t...

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Supporting Activities

  1. Before viewing the video

    1. Ask students what they know about the Oregon Trail. What was the reason for people starting along the trail? Who took the Oregon Trail? Was it over a long period of time? Where did it start and where did it finish? What happened along the way? Watch the video to find out. E...

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Related Content

The Story Begins
Manifest Destiny
Reasons To Head West
Getting There
Life On The Trail
Meeting With Indians
The Trail
A New Home
The Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail