Western Expansion

by Joshua

Yesterday, I went to day class ( a bunch of homeschooled kids studying one topic at the same time together) and we did a study on the western expansion of the USA.


We started a lapbook, made Johnny Cakes and butter and played some pioneer games and learned about quilts.

In the lapbook, must of us thought the children rode in the wagons but we discovered that many wagons weren't any bigger than a typical beach towel...no riding for them. They needed the wagon for storage and things they needed for the trip. The wagons were dangerous because of the big wheels. The wheels were big so that the wagons could cross the terrain better.

Instead of riding in the wagons, the children were expected to do a lot of the work. At the age of nine, a child would be responsible for tending the fire and maybe even the cooking for the whole family.

They made and ate Johnny cakes and butter for every meal. Oh yum.

The Johnny cakes were made from cornmeal-similar to corn muffins you might have today without the sugar.


For games the pioneer children improvised by using materials they had on hand or found. One game we played used a wooden circle and a sticks.

The presentation about the quilts was not something I was interested in but there were some pretty cool designs made out of squares and triangles.

We will be continuing our study on the westward expansion in January.

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