I have been toying around with a few ideas for Pioneer Day, and can't decide which one is my favorite. Maybe a mix of them would be best. In any event, I thought I'd put the ideas out there, in case they can spur some creativity for you!
Let's start with the more complicated of the three, shall we?
Week #1 (June 17th)
Goal: Get our wagon stocked and ready for the trek west!
Have a covered wagon with oxen on the board, along with all of the clipart (PDF here) and (here)
The purpose of the activity is to have each of the items have a price tag, like shelves at a store. The kids can earn "money" by singing the program songs. Here is the list of items to "purchase" and prices:
$20.00 lantern, pail, shovel, chicken
$50 wheel, rifle, pots/pans, tent
$100 horse, cow
$250 barrels of food
There are also personal items: quilt, trunk, fiddle, rocking chair, scriptures
I will have some way of choosing songs (probably written on papers, or attached to buffalo chips), and the kids can learn up to $100 per song by singing the 8 program songs we've learned so far. The better they sing, the more they can earn. Some of the things they choose will be freebies, meaning they can put a personal item in their wagon.
The goal is for the kids to be able to make enough money to purchase all of the supplies they will need to make the trek west, and have a few personal items in there as well. I'll talk about how the pioneers left beautiful homes, farms, family, and friends in order to follow the prophet. I'll share a few stories from my own family history to help them understand what a sacrifice it was to get ready for such a journey.
Week 2 (July 24th)
Goal: Load 'em up, move 'em out, rawhide!
Our wagon is loaded, so lets get a move on! Draw a map on the board if you're artistic, or put pictures around the room that we can move through. The stops on the map will be as follows:
1. Picture of Joseph Smith, sing "Praise to the Man"
2. Picture of Brigham Young, sing "Follow the Prophet"
3. Picture of pioneers crossing a river. Oh, no! Peril #1 - the wagon is too heavy! Leave something personal behind.
4. Picture of pioneers walking, sing "Pioneer Children Sang as they Walked"
5. Picture of buffalo. Yippee! We passed a herd of bison! Let's have a feast!
6. Picture of pioneer ancestors, sing "Stand for the Right"
7. Picture of pioneer burial (GAK 414). Fever and sickness in our train, sing "Come, Come Ye Saints" 3rd verse.
8. Picture of pioneer children, sing "Give, said the little stream"
9. Picture of Rocky Mountains. Yippee! We're almost there! Let's sing and dance!
10. Picture of a wagon train, sing "How Firm a Foundation"
11. Picture of broken wagon wheel. Oh no! Our wheel broke! Do we have a replacement?
12. Picture of Salt Lake Temple, sing "I Love to See the Temple"
We'll move our wagon around the room as we make our way west. I'll say a few words of transition as we move the wagon along from song to song, if you really think about it you can see the flow of these songs. If not, I'm alone in my world. This activity may take an extra week, depending on how long it takes.
Argh. As I write this, it sounds like a lot, but I think the effect could be very cool.
On the other hand, maybe I'll play it a little more simply...stay tuned for Idea #2!
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