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overview prep for teachers steps: class one class two extensions

Cross-Curricular Extensions


Create journal entries for Pamelia Fergus as she prepares for her trip to Montana.

Define unfamiliar terms or words that appear either in the "Getting Started" essay or on James Fergus' supply list.

Ask students to write an essay detailing their most precious possession and what makes it so important to them.


Ask your students to determine the actual weights of the foods they eat during a one-week period, and to use these numbers to come up with an estimate of the total amount of food they consume in a one-year, five-year, and ten-year period.

Determine, as accurately as possible, the total weight of the goods in James Fergus' supply list (some estimation will be required). How much space is left over for passengers, assuming that each of the three wagons can hold 2500 pounds of freight?

Determine how many covered wagons it would take to transport the contents of a tractor trailer, a boxcar, a freight ship, and a cargo plane.


Research and report on the development of standard weights and measures. Investigate the development of the steamboat and the railroad.

Community Connections

  • Plan a trip to a local history museum to research the early European settlers in your area. Where did they come from and how did they get there?
  • Invite a representative from a local moving company to your classroom to discuss the costs and issues that develop during cross-country moves in the year 2002.
  • Invite a park ranger or survivalist to your classroom to discuss wilderness survival with limited resources.
  • Visit a travel agency to discuss options and costs for planning an extended trip.

    About the Author
    Christopher W. Czajka is a Historical Consultant for FRONTIER HOUSE. He also serves as the Associate Director of the National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI), an educational initiative of Thirteen/WNET New York that teaches educators across the country strategies for incorporating PBS programming, instructional media, and emerging technologies into classroom curriculum. To learn more about NTTI, and to explore more media-rich lessons, visit NTTI Online (

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