Special Report: Celebrating 400 Years of Pioneer Spirit-From Jamestown to the Wild West

Curriculum Review, September 2007 | Go to article overview

Special Report: Celebrating 400 Years of Pioneer Spirit-From Jamestown to the Wild West


New Book Allows Students to Explore Life as an American Pioneer

From building sod houses, log cabins, and covered wagons, to creating printing presses and maps, Great Pioneer America Projects You Can Build Yourself will provide readers ages 9 and up a chance to experience how American pioneers pushed westward across America. In fact, the book introduces readers to the day-to-day life of an American pioneer, offering a hands-on look at what life was like both on the trail and on the homestead in the vast western wilderness.

The book includes over 25 hands-on projects that can be made using simple household supplies and minimal adult supervision, and the result is a working model of the original innovation. The activities/projects can be used in the classroom or as homework assignments. Detailed, step-by-step instructions, illustrations and diagrams, and templates for each project are interspersed with historical facts, biographies, anecdotes and trivia about the real-life models, offering kids and adults alike a hands-on way to experience life as an American Pioneer.

Questions and Answers with Rachel Dickinson, author of Great Pioneer Projects You Can Build Yourself

Q: How or why did you become interested in writing about the American Pioneers?

A: I've always loved American history and have been fascinated with the pioneers and the frontier since I was in grade school. My great-great-great-great-great grandfather and his family traveled by wagon from Connecticut to Upstate New York in 1795 where they settled on land given to them as payment for my grandfather's service in the Revolutionary War. I always wondered what it must have been like for them to leave their homes and travel into what was then the wilderness. Would I have had the courage to do that? I would like to think I would but I really don't know.

Q: In researching the book, what information surprised you the most?

A: I guess I didn't have any idea how many people were willing to pull up stakes and move west. Now my picture of 19th century America is one of people on the move--by prairie schooner, on foot, by stagecoach and by railroad. I also didn't realize how close we came to driving the buffalo to extinction. The story of what happened to the buffalo and the Native Americans in the 19th century is a sad one.

Q: What purpose do the activities serve in the book?

A: I hope that kids will have a better understanding of some of the hardships faced by the pioneers when they do some of these activities. I also hope that once they get a glimpse into a pre-television/computer/GameBoy world that they'll find it kind of interesting.

Q: Why is it important that kids learn about the American Pioneers?

A: The people who decided to move west were brave and had to endure untold hardships both on the journey and in the early years of settlement. I want kids to think about whether or not they would have the courage or stamina to endure the 2,000-mile journey that millions of people made more than 100 years ago. These pioneers completely changed our country when they settled the frontier and became farmers and ranchers and established communities. Someday, I hope one of my readers will find him or herself standing in front of an historic marker in Wyoming reading about the Oregon Trail, and they'll look out over the high desert and will see just a faint trace of wagon ruts and a little chill will run up their spine because they'll remember how difficult the journey was for so many who walked the length of that trail.

Q: After researching the book, did you come away with any favorite stories, legends or anecdotes?

A: I love it all--stories about the cowboys, the frontier families, the prospectors, the Mountain men, the Plains Indians, the buffalo and the early explorers. I particularly liked reading about the artists and photographers who documented the changing face of the West--we're so fortunate to have their images today. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Special Report: Celebrating 400 Years of Pioneer Spirit-From Jamestown to the Wild West
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.