The Wet/Dry Routes Chapter has produced two separate learning units designed for the elementary grades. Both are written for the fourth grade level but can be easily adapted for various grade levels. Following are brief descriptions of the units.
Based on a booklet by David Clapsaddle titled Robert's Trunk, the unit revolves around the experiences of a ten-year-old boy who accompanies his merchant father from Westport, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1850. Along the way, Robert collects artifacts and objects of natural wonder as mementoes of his journey. He, in turn, carefully stores the keepsakes in his little trunk. Dr. Clapsaddle has located replicas of Robert's mementoes which are presented in a nineteenth century trunk. These keepsakes assist the teacher to objectify the instruction and move the Santa Fe Trail from the abstraction of a dim and distant past to the tangible world of touch and sight.
In the Spring of 1867, a Cheyenne/Sioux village was destroyed by order of General Winfield Scott Hancock. That episode has been duly documented by a number of historians, all adult white men. Dr. Clapsaddle has described the events leading to the burning of the village through the eyes of a twelve-year-old Cheyenne boy in a little book titled I Heard a Coyote Howl. In addition to the booklet, an instructional resource notebook has been assembled with material on Cheyenne culture, photographs, and a wealth of other information to assist the teacher in lesson preparation. The materials are presented in a parfleche (Indian suitcase). The parfleche is integral to the storyline of I Heard a Coyote Howl.
Both units have been taught in the elementary schools of Fort Larned USD 495, and reports are that they have been well received.
To receive further information on how to access the units, contact David Clapsaddle, 215 Mann, Larned, KS 67550.
Santa Fe Trail Research Site
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