Third grade students at The Learning Center Charter School completed a cross curricular study of the Oregon Trail and the California Gold Rush in March. Their studies included standards in both social studies and science.
Students learned about the Oregon Trail and the California Gold Rush as part of their social studies curriculum. They learned about specific land forms and water bodies as part of their science curriculum. Their teachers teamed together to create a hands-on project that blended the two together beautifully.
Gina Stafford teaches social studies to the class while Emily Willey teaches science. Working as a team, the two teachers asked the students to create 3D models that included land forms and bodies of water they studied in science with the real life route that people took on the Oregon Trail during the time of westward expansion.
Students used salt dough and cardboard to create their landforms following the guidelines for both science and social studies.
“It’s one thing to study a subject and a whole other thing to relate it to particular events in history,” said Stafford. “Students were surprised to learn about the physical obstacles people faced while traveling west in the search for gold.”