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Gold Rush Wild West Days
Old 06-17-2014, 06:35 PM
 
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We just finished our Wild West Days and it was a great success. But I'm already planning for next year. Do any of you do a Wild West Day as a culmination activity to the Gold Rush. We do relay races, square dancing, craft and panning for gold. I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas.

Thank you!


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Gold Rush Day
Old 06-17-2014, 08:32 PM
 
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Hi - we have a Gold Rush Day in the fall. I have the students move to the following stations: Panning for Gold, Barber Shop (shaving each other with shaving cream and popsicle sticks)!, Making ice cream (each making their own in a zip lock bag), Saloon where they have sarsaparilla and play cards, writing letters home (tell about the days in the gold mine), take a group picture and decorate a frame - eat lunch and buy snack for recess (jerky, big pickles to name a few). Hope that helps.
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Chapter book
Old 06-18-2014, 03:34 PM
 
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have you ever read By The Great Horn Spoon? Great book and it would fit the theme
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Wild West Days
Old 06-23-2014, 04:43 AM
 
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Thanks! That is helpful and neat ideas.
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Wild West
Old 07-20-2014, 06:48 AM
 
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Ladies,
Last year was my first in fourth grade. I LOVE your Wild West days ideas. I think we will have to use your suggestions for the end of next year! The kids must love the event!

We have a several month long art experience with our study of Colorado history. Last year we had a local artist teach kids how to draw animals, human figures, and foreground, middle ground, and horizon. We put them together at the end of the year and each student made a water color painting of the old west.

We used the Ledgerbook of Thomas Blue Eagle and paintings by Charles Russell as inspiration.

This year we're on our own; our artist won't be able to join us. But it was such a great experience for the kids!


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Pioneer Day
Old 07-20-2014, 12:37 PM
 
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At the end of fifth grade, we have a Pioneer Day, culminating the Westward Movement.

The students team up (teacher and peer determined) to form a wagon "team." They are responsible for getting their hands on a wagon (a child's pull wagon - like a little "red" wagon). They use whatever resources they can to make it a "covered wagon" - sheets, wire, plastic pipe, etc. (parents are a huge help, and it gets everybody really into it). They bring it to school on Pioneer Day.

Each team must have required items in their wagon such aswater bottles for each student, a blanket, sun screen and other things I can't remember right now, but mostly "survival" type stuff. (It's been 9 years since I taught 5th). Kids pull together costumes, of sorts. Boys are easy - jeans, boots, cowboy hat and plaid shirt. Girls were always able to come up with something akin to a long pioneer-ish skirt and top.

The students would take turns pulling their wagons to the site. We have a great park along a riverbank which is a perfect venue!

We had a teacher who was a river guide and he always put his Dutch ovens in the kids' wagons, for he actually made cornbread and chili with "help" from the kids them once we got to the site.

We had a number of stations: Blacksmith/horse shoeing demonstration (depending on the year and availability of people), the Chuck wagon where lunch was made (yes, we have someone in the community with a real chuck wagon!) Mountain Men with trapping history(we have people in our community who are into it and attend rendezvous regularly), Native American Storytelling (specifically the Shoshoni and Nez Perce), French Voyageur (complete with canoe!), Stagecoach and horses with rides (very popular!), leather working station. The presenters have always been great in getting the kids "into" it by having them participate or make something. It's not all lecture!

Stations would change slightly, year to year, depending on the availability of people presenting. One year we had Lewis and Clark recreated. Granted, a bit "early" for pioneers, but they were the start and we live in Sacajawea's home valley. We've had flint napping, Native American beadwork, wool spinning and weaving.

It was great fun! Parents would stop by any time of the day and watch, the local paper would show up for some pictures. It's still the one thing past students mention to me after they've graduated!
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:44 AM
 
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Beach Glass - I'm exhausted just reading through all your activities! That sounds like great fun! We have a city-wide Rendezvous event that all 4th graders attend, but I really like the event you put together. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:12 AM
 
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Really, I know sounds like a lot, but the fifth grade teachers have been doing it for so long that it runs like clockwork!

Any teacher leaving the grade level passes on any information they've gleaned. One teacher has the "master file" of presenters and phone numbers, amount of food needed, etc. We even have photos of previous Pioneer Days so the students have a clear picture of what's ahead and how to design their wagon and costumes. Makes for an easy bulletin board!

Right now there are 3 fifth grade teachers. All of them "inherited" the Pioneer Day from predecessors, but we have parents who stop by and wax nostalgic saying that it's just like what they did in the fifth grade!

That, in itself, does much to facilitate support of the day and the kids' responsibilities to their wagon team.

We even have presenters contacting US when school STARTS as to the date so they are sure to set that date aside! Many of our presenters are working people, but take the day off for us. Some employers give the presenters the day off as it can count as outreach (i.e. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management). Most, though, are self-employed and just take the day.
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