To appreciate the length and difficulty of the journey from the Mississippi
River to Willmette Valley you need to know what landforms were along the
Oregon Trail. Men, women, and children walked half-way across our
continent. What landforms did they see? What landforms did they have to
forge or go around? Which were dangerous and difficult? Let's find out.
You will need to use your Social Studies textbook glossary or
a dictionary to write the following geographic definitions:
mountain mountain range hill valley river
mesa plateau plains desert butte
You must interpret the data and write statements explaining which
landforms would have been easy for an oxen driven covered wagon weighing one
Create a relief map using play dough after viewing an atlas or United States
physical map. Your map should contain a scale to indicate milage, a compass
rose, color coded legend, and labels of the following identify landforms:
(stick toothpicks into the clay landforms and tape on post-its or paper
Rocky Mountains Great Plains Cascade Mountains
Snake River Columbia River Platte River
Great Divide Basin Atlantic Ocean Pacific Ocean
Gulf of Mexico Mississippi River The Great Lakes
Appalachain Mountains Gulf Coastal Plains Atlantic Coastal Plains
Use colored play dough or paint the clay when creating the relief map.
Mountain Ranges should be red.
The Great Plains need to be yellow.
Coastal Plains should be green.
Oceans should be blue.
Trace the path of the rivers by scratching a toothpick into the play dough.
Glue string or thread on the map to represent the Oregon Trail.
Cut and paste this web site to find the route of the Oregon Trail:
Evaluation:Score 5 points if all elements are present
Colors correspond correctly with the landform 1 2 3 4 5
Relief map has compass rose, scale and legend 1 2 3 4 5
All physical features have labels 1 2 3 4 5
Rocky Mountains are the highest part of the map 1 2 3 4 5
Coastal plains are the lowest part of the map 1 2 3 4 5
Pacific,Atlantic Oceans, Great Lakes are labeled 1 2 3 4 5
The map contains the Mississippi River and it's tributaries 1 2 3 4 5
Student glued thread representing the Oregon Trail 1 2 3 4 5