- Understand how people lived in earlier times and how their lives are different today
- Construct maps of the school
- Learn how to make an invitation
- The Round-Up Invitation (PDF)
- White paper
- T-chart with "THEN/NOW" written at the top
- Two word webs with pictures of the Pony Express and a mail carrier
Set Up and Prepare
- Make copies of the Round-Up Invitations (PDF) and prepare crayons or markers for coloring.
- I make a stick horse to use for the invitation delivery.
Step 1: Listen to a traditional version of the song "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain." List on the T-chart under THEN the lyrics that mention things from the past, things that we no longer do or have, and things that are unfamiliar to the students because they are less common in the present time, like: "six white horses...kill the old red rooster," and maybe even "chicken and dumplings."
Step 2: Listen to the Greg & Steve We All Live Together Volume 2 version of the song on "At Work Will E-Mail It To You Tomorrow." On the T-chart under NOW, list things that were not common or even invented yet in the Old West, like "the hot rod" and "chocolate pizza."
Step 3: Identify all the listed items that are different than what we have today and all the listed items that are same as today.
Step 4: Show a picture of the Pony Express. Ask the students what you think is going on in the picture. Use a word web and put the picture in the middle. Write down the students' responses around the picture.
Step 5: Show a picture of a mail carrier. Ask the students what a mail carrier does each day? Use a word web and put the picture in the middle. Write down the students' responses around the picture.
Step 6: Discuss with the students the real purpose of the Pony Express. Tell the students that it was a way for people to send and deliver mail by horse. Discuss how long they think it would take to mail a letter back then. Discuss how long they think it would take to mail and receive a letter now.
Step 7: Discuss whom we could send a letter to at school. (Our principal, lunch lady, big friends, other teachers, and friends) We decided to send an Invitation (PDF) to our big friends and invite them over to our room to teach them how to square dance.
Step 8: Decorate and color the invitations.
(Begin each day with a song: "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain.")
Step 1: Show the students a map. As a group discuss how maps are used.
Step 2: As a group map out how to get from your classroom to the classroom of your invitees.
Step 3: Take a walk the way your class will be delivering their Invitations (PDF). Write down what the students see on the way.
Step 4: Pass out the white paper and as a group draw a school map of how to get from one classroom to the other.
Step 5: Entitle the map: ___________'s Map
Step 6: Color the map.
(Sing all the songs from previous days: Clementine, Oh Susanna, Home on the Range.)
Step 1: Review the Pony Express.
Step 2: Fold up the Invitations (PDF).
Step 3: Use stick horses and have the students take turns "galloping" their Invitations (PDF) to the recipients.
Supporting All Learners
- More advanced students may write their own invitations.
- Special needs students may work in pairs to make the map and decorate the invitations.
Here are some ideas that could be used to extend the learning both for this lesson and for the unit:
- Invite a Mail Carrier to speak about delivering the mail today.
- Create a map center for students to explore and make their own maps.
- Lasso a stuffed animal.
- Make flapjacks.
- Use a rope to measure different objects in the room (non-standard unit of measure activity).
- Watch the video <i>An American Tail: Fievel Goes West</i> and then draw a picture of your favorite part of the video or draw a picture of how you would change the ending.
- Learn about desert animals, javelinas, coyotes, wolves, armadillos, and snakes.
- Learn about different desert plants such as the cactus.
- Teach students how to tie various knots.
- Make a log cabin out of pretzels glued to a milk carton.
Parents may want to take their child to the post office and go through the process of mailing a letter. Students may make a map of the route from their home to school.
Students will create a map in the map center.
- Were the students on task?
- Did the students seem confused about the concepts taught?
- Did the students respond to the questions asked?
- Did the students understand the difference between then and now?
- Could the students draw a map?