American West Unit: Lewis and Clark, Fruit Leather and more

Lewis and Clark Lapbooks:

I saw a wonderful set of lapbook materials on Lewis and Clark and on the American West over at Dynamic 2 Moms.  We used some of their materials to make notebook pages for the kids’ history notebooks.

Also the US mint website had a number of really great printables about the journey of Lewis and Clark because of the series of nickles that were released in 2004-2006. We read over those materials and are on the hunt for all the nickles that were released six or seven years ago.

Western Forts:

I can’t remember whether I wrote about this or not, but we also read quite a bit about the forts that were built out west. We talked about how important they were providing a safe haven, but more importantly providing much needed supplies, rest and respite for pioneers heading West.




We went on to build our own fort walls.

Fruit Leather

Pioneers carried a lot of dried fruit out on the Oregon Trail.  One guide book had a food list that suggested each adult carry one bushel of dried fruit (in addition to the 200lbs of flour, 75 pounds of bacon and so forth). [more details here] I thought it was the perfect time to revisit an activity we did several years ago–making dried fruit leather.

Fruit isn’t in season here so I just grabbed the frozen fruit we had on hand in the freezer.  We put it in a pan and cooked it on low for about 45 minutes. We added no sugar.

When the fruit was fairly well cooked and had been bubbling consistently for quite a while we put it in a blender and pureed it. Then we spooned it on to parchment paper and spread it around evenly.We put it in the oven and baked on the lowest setting for about seven hours or so.  Even though it was still sticky on the bottom, I deemed it done and pulled it out.

We tore it into strips and gave it a try.

Even if you’re not studying pioneers, you might want to give this a go! Boy was it sweet and delicious!

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