American West Unit

As I mentioned last week, this semester we are studying the American West. We picked up where we left off last semester when we talked about Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. (To the left is Davy Crockett’s birthplace cabin in Tennessee which we visited last Thanksgiving.)

We talked about the Ohio Valley settlement and how as settlers made their way west they used the rivers for transportation.  We learned a couple of songs about the Ohio River and made our own small raft. We discovered that it was pretty difficult to keep our “supplies” afloat!

We also talked about the importance of forts in the American West. High walls surrounded the cabins which usually formed one wall of the fort. Farmers living in nearby homesteads would come to the forts to grind their corn and buy supplies. Cows and pigs were left outside the fort.

With it being so difficult to transport goods over the mountains and down the rivers, glass was not common. People often used greased paper for windows instead of glass. We spread oil on paper garbage bag to see how the oil let the light in.

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