Chapter 13: A Ray of Hope

Teacher's Guide Chapter Authors: Beth Mulvey and Mike Kuennen 5th Grade Teachers at Woolley Elementary School in the Clark County School District.

Chapter Overview: The group is still searching for water. They ran out of food two days ago. Sallie continues to suffer from her injuries received during the Indian attack. Liefy’s health progressively gets worse. Finally, two weeks after the Indian attack, they reach White Rock Spring. This is the place they were three weeks prior that had plenty of water. A short time after arriving at the spring, Sallie sees ‘sunbonnets’ in the distance. As the sunbonnets grow closer, it is discovered that it is a group of covered wagons led by E.O. Smith. This wagon train has plenty of food, water, and supplies. Sallie and her family, as well as the other members of their wagon train, join Mr. Smith’s wagon train and they turn around to go back toward Albuquerque. Everyone in Sallie’s family enjoys Mr. Smith’s company. He shares stories of his own family with them. (Sept. 14) Mr. Smith shares with Sallie that he keeps a journal. She explains to him that she had kept a journal, but it was left at the river. He presents her with a new journal, which she quickly dedicates to him in her first entry. (Sept. 20) The group is now at about 200 people and Mr. Smith supplies were only scheduled to last 43 people, so supplies quickly run out. Mr. Smith butchers his cattle to help them survive, but this isn’t enough. A group of 21 men take off ahead of the train to try and find help. (Sept. 29) The group arrives at another spring with water to refresh them and the animals. Three men arrive back at camp. Apparently they split from the others to search for help and ended up turning around to return to the wagon train. (Oct. 2) The heat has now turned to cold and rain. Sallie, Leify, and now Orrin are sick. The wagon train arrives at La Roux Springs. The next day, the remaining 18 men arrive back at camp. The following day, a small group of men leave again to try and get help. (Oct. 14) A wagon team arrives with enough supplies for the entire wagon train. This is from the U.S. Government. The Freemasons of Albuquerque also sent an extra shipment of money and supplies for Sallie and her family. The group arrives in Zuni Pueblo two days later and Albuquerque ten days later. However, this isn’t without grief as Orrin dies as they are within sight of the Rio Grande.

Chapter Themes: Water, E.O. Smith, Lack of Supplies

Chapter Activities

  • Language Arts
    • Keeping a Daily Diary
      • The students will keep a daily diary of events that happened in the book and in their lives. This project would have started at the beginning of the book. The diary was something that Sallie Fox kept during her journey.

§ Standards Addresssed

        • (5)2.12 understanding of text by note taking
        • (5)3.3 identify historical events and cultural contexts as portrayed in literature
    • Readers Theater relating to the events involved with Chapter 13. The students and teacher will develop a Reader’s Theater and perform it for the class.
      • Standards Addressed
        • (5)3.7 describe difference in purpose and structure in a variety of fiction and nonfiction selections ex. plays
        • (5)2.4 determine importance in stories: a) recall important details/facts of the text while reading b.) recall sequence of events c.) Identify purpose d.) recall the main idea of text while reading
  • Mathematics
    • How much does water weigh?
      • This lesson will involve the science lesson which what to find out the following: “How much water does our body need to survive?” The students will solve problem related to the number to people who are in their party and how much water they would need and how much this water would weigh. The students will display their findings in a graph
      • Standards Addressed
        • (5)5.10 select an appropriate type of graph to accurately represent the data
        • (5)A.2 apply previous experience and knowledge to new problem solving situations
    • How many miles did they travel?
      • Students will be given a map with a scale shown they will need to figure out how far they traveled during this chapter and then they will need to show this figure in miles per day.
      • Standards Addressed
        • (5)A.1 select, modify, develop, apply and justify strategies to solve a variety of mathematical and practical problems
        • Standard 2 (5)1.18 multiply and divide decimals by whole numbers in problems representing practical situations [NS/PS 1.5.7]

  • Social Studies
    • What is a Free Mason?
      • Student groups will need to research to find out what a Free Mason. The students can use the Internet to find out this information. The students will need to find out the following: a)Do the Free Masons still exist? b)How long have they been in existence? c)The symbol that the group uses. d) How many people below to this group in the world? e) What is a Knights Templar?
      • Standards Addressed
        • (5)1.10 give examples of interest groups
        • (5)4.3 ask a historical question and identify resources to be used in research
    • Did La Roux Springs (Leroux Springs) exist?
      • Students will need to find out if this place actually existed. (The place is located in the present day Flagstaff, AZ). The will need to report back to the class in a PowerPoint Slide show the what the springs looks like and the town of Flagstaff, AZ.
      • Standards Addressed
        • (5)3.3 Read and derive geographic information from photographs, maps, graphs and computer resources.
        • (5)3.9 describe physical and human features and cultural characteristics of places and regions in the United States [NS 2.5.1]
  • Science
    • How much water does our body need to survive?
      • The students will need to research to find out how much water it takes to keep people alive. This information will be used in conjunction with the math part which deals with how much water weighs. The students can also find out how much water a cow requires to survive.
      • Standards Addressed
        • (5)4.3 investigate and describe how animals require food, water, air and space
        • (5)4.5 explain that living things get what they need to survive from their environments [L5C1]
    • What is a comet?
      • In this chapter Sallie Fox and her family saw a comet. The students will work in groups want to find out what a comet is and then to see if they can possibly figure out the name of the comet that they saw. If the comet doesn’t have a name they will need to draw a picture of a comet and name this comet and they explain why they named the comet the way they did.
      • Standards Addressed
        • (5)1.4 draw conclusion from scientific evidence
        • (5)1.10 cooperate and contribute ideas within a group [N5B
Historic Overview - This chapter talks about how hard the journey was. These trips didn't happen overnight they took a great amount of hard work and perseverance. Unfortunately people weren't prepared a trip of this magnitude especially when you were dealing with entire families ranging from new borns to senior citizens. Many people lost their lives and it wasn't because of the Native Americans. People choose a variety of routes to get to California and Oregon. These routes each individually had their own issues ranging from deserts to mountains.

Other Resources

Freedman, R. (1983). Children of the wild west. New York, NY: Clarion Books.

Gerrard, R. Wagons west! New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Web Sites

Free Mason Info

Flagstaff, AZ Info

La Roux Springs (Leroux Springs) Info

1 comment:

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

You provide a very thorough chapter overview - THANKS!

Do you know of any good websites you could use along with the "water needed for bodies" activity?

Perhaps you could invite a Mason to come and speak to your class to discuss the history of the organization/institution and tell about famous members and their current service projects. This could be a good beginning point to start a service learning unit (since you're about to finish this book).

Great idea for the comet! Do you know what comet is was (the only one I know is Haley's)? Perhaps you could also have a night out at Red Rock looking at the stars with local astronomers. This would be a fun family event (as long as all children have access to transportation).