Chapter 10: More Trouble

Teacher's Guide Chapter Author: Carol McGrew, Fifth grade teacher, Gragson Elementary School, Clark County School District

Chapter Overview: The wagon train decides to split in two in order to rest the animals while being able to get the settlers away from the Mojave Indians who have stolen their animals. The goal is to reach the Colorado River as soon as possible in order to escape the tribe of Indians.

Chapter Themes: Native American and Pioneer relations, survival, westward movement

Chapter Activities

  • Language Arts
    • While we were stolen

      • Pretend that you are one of the animals that the Mojave stole. Write about your experience and what happened to you.
      • Standards Addressed

        • Standard 1 Write a narrative or story that develops a plot or sequence. (NS 5.5.3)
          Standard 2 Produce writing with a voice that shows awareness of an intended audience and purpose. (NS 6.5.6)

    • Debate

      • Should they split up the wagon train? Split table group into two groups. Each group will present their arguments and make a decision as a table as to what they would have done at this point in the story.
      • Standards Addressed

        • Students participate in discussions to offer information, clarify ideas, and support a position.
          Write short expository text that speculates on causes and effects and offers simple persuasive evidence [NS/PS 5.5.6]

  • Mathematics
    • Who's on Duty?
    • Make a duty schedule for the night watchmen. Be sure to make things even for ten men at four different duty stations.
      • Standards Addressed

        • Organize and represent data using a variety of graphical representations (NS 5.5.1)

    • Line Graph

      • Use a line graph to show how far the group goes each time they move on the trail.
      • Standards Addressed

      • Pose questions that can be used to guide the collection of categorical and numerical data. [5.2]
        Organize and represent data using a variety of graphical representations
  • Social Studies
  • The Colorado River

      • Make a map of the Colorado River. What states does it run through? What other rivers flow into it? Where is the origin of the river? Where is the mouth of the river?
      • Standards Addressed

        • Standard 1 Construct maps to display information about physical features in the United States (NS 1.5.4)
          Standard 2 Use maps to identify and locate major geographical features of the United States (1.5.1)

    • Who were the Mojave?

      • Research the Mojave Indian’s interactions with settlers. What caused the problems between the two groups?
      • Standards Addressed

        • Standard 1 Language Arts: Select information from multiple resources to answer questions. (NS 11.5.1)
          Standard 2 Describe relationships among Native Americans and Europeans (NS 5.5.8)
  • Science
    • First Aid

    • Describe how to treat a stab wound similar to the arrow wound from the chapter.
      • Standards Addressed
        • Health: Explain accepted procedures for personal safety when confronted with hazards (NS 1.5.5)

    • Desert Rain Patterns

      • Describe how rain the desert is different from other regions of the country
      • Standards Addressed

        • Standard 1 Students understand the relationship between the Earth’s atmosphere, topography, weather, and climate (E12A)
          Standard 2 Students understand the water cycle’s relationship to weather
Historical Overview of Chapter Themes

The Mojave Indians present two problems in this chapter. First, they are said to have stolen two animals from the wagon train. Another tribe captures these animals and returns them to the wagon train. Secondly, the Mojave tribe attacks part of the wagon train and hits one of the men in the back with an arrow. The main goal of the group now is to reach the Colorado River so they can avoid more problems with the tribe of Mojave Indians.

1 comment:

Christy G. Keeler, Ph.D. said...

I like the idea of having the students consider the question of which way to go. Perhaps you could assign some tables to take one direction and others to take the other direction. They could then debate the issue in a formal debate or engage in a simulated pro se court (see

The "Who's on Duty" activity is a fantastic way to encourage higher-level cognition. You may teach about transportation algorithms. Though they are far too advanced for students to figure mathematically, they are a great way to tie in advanced mathematical concepts (and hopefully whet their appetites to learn more math).

Terrific idea to teach about dealing with the stab wound! This might be a good starting point for a science unit on basic first aid.