Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Virtual Tour

Location ActivityGoogle Earth Content
1. Independence, MO
Answer Question: What would you pack if you were leaving on the Oregon Trail?Terrain, Borders and Labels, Photo 
2. Chimney Rock
Answer Question:  How do you think Chimney Rock got its name?Terrain, Borders and Labels, Photo
3. Fort Bridger
Math activity: trading post

Terrain, Borders and Labels, Photo

4. Oregon City
Journal entry in roleTerrain, Borders and Labels, Photo 
Details of image overlay / path / polygon:Path will connect Independence, MO (start), Chimney Rock, Fort Bridger, and Oregon City (finish). Each point will show photos of each location as they may have looked at the time of the Oregon Trail.


The content of this lesson is based on the 5th Grade Utah Curriculum, Standard 4: "Students will understand that the 19th century was a time of incredible change for the United States, including geographic expansion, constitutional crisis, and economic growth". I am focusing on Objective 1c, which states "Investigate the significant events during America's expansion and the roles people played....Compare the trails that were important during westward expansion (e.g. Oregon, Mormon, Spanish, California)". This virtual tour will take students to 4 major points along the Oregon Trail, allowing them to see the landscape of each destination as well as the path that pioneers traveled to the west. Students will also engage in various activities at each location.


The technology used to create this virtual tour is Google Earth. Students will use computers to view each location with Google Earth, access other websites on the internet for more information, and if possible, type their responses and journal entries on Microsoft Word. Google Earth is a perfect fit for teaching about the Oregon Trail because students can see actual photos of each location and watch the program zoom in and out to see the whole path of the Oregon Trail on a map.


This activity will be especially effective for visual and hands-on learners. They will be able to see the places that we learn about as we discuss the Oregon Trail. The activities provided at each stop (journal writing, answering questions, getting more information, etc.) are also good pedagogy because they keep students actively involved and offer various ways for students to process and apply the content that is learned.


  1. Nice virtual tour. Your path worked perfect with it. And way to incorporate a math activity.

  2. Great Job! I love how you had a variety of activities in the tour.