Second Grade Heads West!

Second grade students are in the midst of an exciting adventure!  An adventure…that is taking them back in time!

The children have spent several weeks learning about life as a pioneer while preparing for and learning about hardships that are faced on the trail during the Westward Expansion.  While learning about the hardships, they also are learning about ways to overcome them.

The students have had quite the journey so far. They’ve learned how to make soap and butter, and they now know how important it is to understand weather patterns. The kids have grouped into “families” to build covered wagons, rafts for their wagons and even temporary shelters! This Westward Expansion unit is allowing our second grade students to gain an understanding of what the pioneers experienced during the Westward Expansion.  

Students and their families planned for their journey by gathering supplies such as pipe cleaners, cans, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, tape, yarn and straws which were needed for their trip out West.

When the pioneers arrived at their destination, they got to take a field trip to Trail Dust Town.

To culminate the Westward Expansion unit, students will get to dress up in pioneer and western wear – and host an informative evening for their parents and families while showing everything they needed to make with their “families” in order to have a successful journey West. The kids’ classrooms will be changed into museums on Monday, April 16 from 5:00pm-6:00pm for families to get a sampling of the students’ Westward journey.

Sit back, relax and enjoy our students’ Westward journey so far…


The second grade students, as pioneers, worked with their “families” to build covered wagons for their travels on the trail.


It’s all about teamwork! Next, the pioneers worked together to make rafts that would need to hold their wagons during river crossings.


Once both the wagon and raft were completed, everyone tested their rafts out in water. We’re happy to report that all of the rafts holding the wagons floated!


Violet, aka Laura Wilder, in Mrs. Rodriguez’s class, provides music with her violin for the travelers on the trail.

The kids even made their own butter!

To add to the experience of traveling West, all of the second grade students and teachers took a field trip to the Horse Soldier Museum in Trail Dust Town. The kids learned some neat “Western” history and even checked out some life-size covered wagons, an old-time jail and got to pan for gold!











Back at school, the students worked with their “families” to build temporary shelters. 


Second grade has become so familiar with how the West was back in the day, so why not learn how to square dance as well? Second grade teacher Ms. Maggie asked her father, Mr. Weir, to lead the students in square dance lessons. 



Wow! We are so proud of the second grade students and teachers for all of the hard work they have put into learning – and experiencing – the Westward Expansion.