Early Canadian Pioneers

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This webquest is designed to help fulfill fifth grade content standards and objectives.  Throughout the webquest, students learn information about the life of a pioneer and are asked to apply their knowledge through the creation of illustrations, lists, paragraphs, and Venn Diagrams.

Throughout the webquest, students will learn about the pioneer's main mode of transportation, the covered wagon.  They will learn about the many possible hardships pioneers could encounter while journeying out west.  Students will also learn the importance of preparation by purchasing needed supplies and how housing is directly affected by the surrounding environment.


This lesson is anchored in fifth grade social studies and involves language arts and math to a lesser extent.  This webquest can be modified to suit lower or higher grades by adjusting the language arts and math requirements.

Prior to beginning this webquest, students should already be fluent readers and writers and be able to engage in critical thinking.  Students should also possess basic computer skills, such as how to operate a mouse and how to use the back button to return to the previous page.

West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives:

Subject Area:  Social Studies

Standard:  History (SS.S.5)

Students will:
·        examine, analyze, and explain historical relationships using chronology to sequence and organize events and people in history (Chronology);
·        use the processes and resources of historical inquiry to gather, examine, compare, analyze, and interpret historical data (Skills and Application);
·        examine, analyze, and synthesize historical knowledge of major events, individuals, cultures, and the humanities in West Virginia, the United States, and the world (Culture and Humanities)


SS.5.5.3     describe the development of transportation in the United States and explain its impact on settlement, industry, and residential patterns.

SS.5.5.12     list the reasons for westward expansion and explain how it affected the inhabitants of the American West (e.g., Native Americans)

Subject Area:  Math

Standard:  Number and Operations (M.S.5.1)

Through communication, representation, reasoning and proof, problem solving, and making connections within and beyond the field of mathematics, students will:
·        demonstrate understanding of numbers, ways of representing numbers, and relationships among numbers and number systems,
·        demonstrate meanings of operations and how they relate to one another, and
·        compute fluently and make reasonable estimates.


M.O.5.1.1     read, write, order and compare all whole number, fractions,
                     mixed numbers and decimals using multiple strategies (e.g.,
                     symbols, manipulatives, number line).

Subject Area:  Reading and English Language Arts

Standard:  Writing (RLA.S.5.2)

Students will apply writing skills and strategies to communicate effectively for different purposes by
·        using the writing process,
·        applying grammatical and mechanical properties in writing and
·        selecting and evaluating information for research purposes.


RLA.O.5.2.1     use the five-step writing process (pre-writing, drafting,
                          revising, editing, publishing) to generate topics, plan and
                         develop a 3-5 paragraph composition.

RLA.O.5.2.2     arrange thoughts and ideas in graphic representations to plan
                          and write a product

RLA.O.5.2.3     from a prompt, use the writing process to develop a 3-5
                          paragraph composition with an introductory paragraph,
                          supporting detail paragraph(s), and concluding paragraph
                          that incorporates specific, relevant details

West Virginia 21st Century Learning Skills

Standard 1:  Information and Communication Skills (21C.S.5-8.1)
     The student will access, analyze, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in a variety of forms using appropriate technology skills and communicate that information in an appropriate oral, written, or multimedia format.

21C.O.5-8.LS.1     Student, when presented with a problem, identifies the
                               information needed, uses text, people, online databases
                               and search engines to filter relevant information
                               efficiently, analyzes information for biases, synthesizes
                                information gathered and creates an effective and
                                efficient response to the problem.
West Virginia 21st Century Technology Tools

Standard 1:  Information and Communication Skills  (21C.S.5-8.1)

     The student will access, analyze, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in a variety of forms using appropriate technology skills and communicate that information in an appropriate oral, written, or multimedia format.

21C.O.5-8.1.TT.1     Student connects peripheral devices (e.g. scanners,
                                  digital cameras, video projectors, USB drivers, printers,
                                  media storage devices) to computers and uses them
                                  efficiently and effectively.  Student accesses server
                                  and/or network resources (e.g. file folders/software
                                  programs, bookmarked sites).

Essential or guiding questions students will need to answer:

Students will:


1.      identify the main mode of transportation used by the pioneers
2.     identify the possible hardships pioneers endured while on their westward journey
3.     identify which type of commodities (purchased from a local General Store) would be necessary for such a trip to succeed
4.     Identify the types of housing pioneers used and how the surrounding environment affected which type of house the pioneers used.
List of Resources:
Picture of covered wagon and ox:  Woodcraftplans.com.  http://www.woodcraftplans.com/CWPplansGFX/ys137.gif 
Picture of log home.  Pioneeringhttp://www.americanforeignrelations.com/images/enan_0001_0002_0_img0162.jpg
Task 1:  Think Quest.  (1999).  Pioneers.  How Did the Pioneers Travel?.    http://library.thinkquest.org/6400/travel.htm   
Task 2:  Think Quest Junior.  (2000).  Pioneer Life in America.  Hardshipshttp://library.thinkquest.org/J001587/
Task 3:  Think Quest Junior.  (2000).  Pioneer Life in America.  Activitieshttp://library.thinkquest.org/J001587/
Task 4
Venn Diagram:  A Frog's Worldhttp://www.hobart.k12.in.us/hedge/frogs/venn.gif
Sod Homes:  Camp Silos.  (2005).  Scavenger Hunt.  http://www.campsilos.org/mod2/students/sodhms.shtml
Log Homes:  Camp Silos.  (2005).  Scavenger Hunt.  http://www.campsilos.org/mod2/students/loghms.shtml
Think Quest.  (1999).  Pioneers.  What Did They do After Reaching Their New Homes?.    http://library.thinkquest.org/6400/new%20home.htm 
Think Quest Junior.  (2000).  Pioneer Life in America.  Lifehttp://library.thinkquest.org/J001587/
Think Quest Junior.  (2000).  Pioneer Life in America.  Townhttp://library.thinkquest.org/J001587/


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