Letters From the Trail Program
Our Program Brings History to Life in Lane County Classrooms: Letters From the Trail!
Teachers, sign up now for this exciting new program that brings the Oregon Trail to life in your classroom. Cost is $50.
We send a costumed interpreter to do a 20 minute presentation for your students about what it was like on the Oregon Trail circa 1853 and deliver 20 letters to your classroom. These carefully researched letters are imagined accounts from the perspective of children (both boys and girls) migrating to the West. These messages through time describe the hopes, dreams, fears, stories, and memories of children aged 8-15. They come from different parts on the journey, and some are written back home to loved ones, and others are written to kin waiting in Oregon. The program is designed to be presented to one classroom at a time, to allow for a more intimate setting and more children’s questions to be answered. We include a written curriculum plan for you, aligned to the 4th grade Oregon standards for literature, writing, speaking and listening, and presentation of knowledge and ideas. You will get a handout to copy for each group of two students that receives a letter, with questions to answer such as:
“What resources does the author have in order to get to Oregon safely? Do you think they will make it? “Why or why not?”
“What does the letter tell you about the author’s family?”
Your students will then present to the whole class, and also write a return letter (optional.)
These letters have been painstakingly researched and written by Karen Rainsong, our Executive Director, and Camille Sampley, a teen who has come to our programs for years. Over the summer of 2017 Camille met with Karen to go over her letters and hone them for the program, and together they wrote all of them by hand with a fountain pen and ink.
Please feel free to scan and send to us the best reply letters from your class- we would love to show them off own our website and in local library cases!
Teachers can sign up for this program for $50, and the curriculum is unique to Singing Creek Educational Center. It’s all part of fulfilling our mission to bring history to life for Lane County children.