The Topic: 
Pioneer Life

Easier - Pioneers are the people who are the first to enter and settle a region. They opened the land up to other settlers.
Harder - In early North American history, American Indians were already present when European pioneers began to arrive. Thousands of ordinary people kept pushing the frontier of the United States and Canada westward from the Appalachian Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Pioneers faced many hardships and dangers as they struggled to build new lives away from the civilization they had known in the East.
At Home on the Fringes of the Prairie: 1800-1850
When pioneer Americans began moving into Illinois, they avoided settling on the prairies and stayed close to the forests and rivers. In their minds land that did not grow trees could not possibly be fertile. They were also dependent on the wood the forest provided for fuel, fences, tools, and shelter.
Homestead Act from Today in History Archive, Library of Congress
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862. The act provided settler with 160 acres of surveyed public land after payment of a filing fee and five years of continuous residence.
Pioneer Lifestyle
Learn how early settlers lived in in Shelby County, Ohio.
Related Websites:
2) Pioneer Life in Upper Canada (Grades 3-4)
3) Pioneer Resources & Webliography from Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage
Pioneers (Platinum Award, 1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This site was completed to tell the story of the pioneers and their adventures on the trail.
After visiting some of the sites below, complete one of these pioneer projects:
Complete A Pioneer WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures of the following webQuests: 
1) Daily Life of a Pioneer Child (Grade 5)
2) Discovering Pioneers
3) Laura Ingalls Wilder by M. Lipold
4) Life as a Pioneer: A WebQuest
5) Log Cabin Days--The Pioneers of the 1800's (Grades 3-4)
6) One-Room Schoolhouse by T. Ridener
7) Pioneer Life (Grade 3)
8) Pioneer Scrapbook (Grades 5-8)
9) Pioneer Times (Grades 7-8)
10)Pioneer WebQuest by A. Hover, C. Musgrove, & J. Sinclair
11)Sarah Plain and Tall
12)What if I Were a Pioneer Child (Grade 4)
13)Who Wants to Be a Pioneer? by R. Dent and P. White
Prepare a Pioneer Meal. Look for recipes at the following websites; see if you can cook some pioneer food. 
1) Pioneer Food from ThinkQuest
2) Pioneer Cooking and Recipes
3) Pioneer Recipes
4) How to Make Beef Jerky
5) Pioneer Cooking (Links-site)
6) Recipes from The Little House Cookbook at ThinkQuest Junior
Debate the Idea of Homesteading Today. For information about modern 'homesteading', visit Homesteading FAQ. Consider the pros and cons of alternative homesteading. Analyze the costs that would be involved to incorporate the 'alternative homesteading' ideas locally. Use your findings in a debate on modern homesteading.
Compare and Contrast Pioneer's Lives. Visit several of the websites in the "Letters, Memoirs, Reminiscences and Historical Accounts' section below. Pick two pioneer experiences in different locations. Analyze their experiences and chart the similarities and differences that you find.
Pretend that You Are a Pioneer. Select a destination point. It could be where you live today or anywhere in North America. Then pretend that you are one of the first settlers traveling to that location. Write several diary entries (At least ten daily entries) about your experiences as a pioneer.
Make a Pioneer Craft. Visit the following websites to learn how to complete a pioneer craft. Note that adult supervision is needed for candle and soap making.
1) Making Hand Dipped Candles and Dipping Candles.
2) Corn Husk Dolls , Harvest Corn Dollies, also at Corn Husk Dolls, and Corn Husk Dolls
3) Be sure to read Noah's Ark: Lye Safety Precautions before making soap; find instructions at Simple Soapmaking and Soap Making.
4) Instructions for drying at Dehydrating Apples, How to Dry Fruit, and Drying Vegetables For Storage - A Primer.
5) Find information on making A simple pioneer 9 patch quilt
Making a Patchwork Quilt. For younger learners, try Paper Quilt.
Websites for Kids by Kids
Pioneer Launch for Third Graders
After researching their topics, some third graders wrote research papers while others chose to make a game or a crossword puzzle.
Pioneer Life
Pioneer life was different than today.
Pioneer Life in America (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Have you ever wondered how you would have survived if you were a pioneer traveling to a new, wild, undiscovered land?
Pioneers (Museum in the Classroom Project, Crossville Elementary School)
Here you can find information on pioneer homes, tools, and food plus a few lesson plans.
Another Classroom Project on Pioneers:
2) Pioneers (Grades 3-4)
rers/school pages/hinckley/pioneer.htm
Pioneers Tools and Inventions (Museum in the Classroom Project, Farmindale Elementary School
Third grade students selected a tool and compared the pioneer and modern versions that are used for similar jobs.
More Pioneer Websites
Johnny Appleseed-Pioneer and Pomologist
He didn't really look like the Disney character wearing a cooking pot hat, but 'Johnny Appleseed' was a true American pioneer - in fact, he planted a path for a generation of pioneers to follow.
Life in a Log Cabin from Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area
Learn about building a log cabin and living in one.
Pioneer Camera
At this website, you can explore pioneer history in photographs.
Pioneer Cooking
Learn about pioneer cooking in the Great Smoky Mountains
Pioneer Women
Includes sociologist E. Lindgren's powerful exhibit on women homesteaders in North Dakota and S. Burgum's diary of frontier life, telling the story of the land from 1863 through 1877.
Related Website:
2) Diary of a Wyoming Pioneer Woman
Little House on the Prairie
Here you learn that the life of Laura Ingalls as depicted on Michael Landon's popular television series, Little House on the Prairie, the life of Laura Ingalls as told in her Little House books, and the life of the real Laura Ingalls are three very different stories.
Other Related Websites:
2) Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl
3) Little House Home
4) Little House on the Prairie from Yesterdayland Prime Time
5) My Little House on the Prairie Home Page by J. Slegg
6) Pioneering Journeys of the Ingalls Family from Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-
Shelter On The Western Frontier
This site links to information about sod houses and dugouts, root cellars, log homes, barns, shanties, and even outhouses,
Letters, Memoirs, Reminiscences and Historical Accounts
Combined History of Shelby and Moultrie Counties, Illinois
This site is a 19th century history of two adjacent central Illinois counties. It includes a brief sketch of the Northwest Territories, along its chronology of the more important historical events, humorous and sad incidents of border life.
Early Days - Homesteaders
This website presents the life of the settlers who traveled to western Canada in hopes of a better life and for the chance to have their own homestead.
Early Pioneer Biographies (Augustana, Illinois)
These are interviews of the first settlers of the area, members of the Old Settler's Association.
Hendricks Rural Pioneer Heritage
The hardy pioneers who settled around the Hendricks, Minnesota area in the 1870's were people of the soil. It was not always an easy life, often much more harsh and demanding that the stereotyped 'Little House on the Prairie' version of the migrations west across the plains.
Kansas Collection
This extensive website contains 'voices of the past' through its collection of nearly-lost books, letters, diaries, photographs, and other materials.
Collection Includes:
2) Nancy 'Mary Ann' Davis Wisner's Recollections of Pioneer Life
Life on the Fraction: The Past Hundred Years (Minnesota)
A story of the early settlers on land bordering the Chippewa Indian Reservation on the west, now part of Smiley Township, Pennington County, Minnesota.
Old Timers and the Price of Land (British Columbia)
Agricultural settlement began in the BC in 1912 when the first areas were surveyed and opened for homesteading. Here are a collection of articles that deal with problems associated with homesteading and that also provide a glimpse of the lives of early settlers.
Teacher Sites
Early Pioneer Foods (Lesson 3, Teaching Cleveland
Lesson objective is to introduce students to the different foods eaten by early settlers and the methods of preserving and preparing the foods.
Homesteader Interdisciplinary Unit
The homesteader interdisciplinary unit is meant to be a culmination activity for the study of the Montana homestead era. The unit will require students to use skills in mapping and map-making, mathematical calculation of scale, measurement, plotting, research, creative writing, typing, and working cooperatively.
Pioneer Farming from Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area
Based upon reading original source materials and online resources, students will understand 19th century Iowa pioneer farming including the limitations and opportunities associated with the natural environment as well as the impact of emerging technologies.
Pioneer Games (Grades K-5) from AskERIC
Students will be introduced to a few games that date back to pioneer children and will improve skills.
Pioneer Life with Laura (Laura Ingalls Wilder Teaching Unit, National Archives and Records Administration
This is the site of a teaching unit, Pioneer Life With Laura, was prepared with a grant from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. It is designed as a literature unit that can be used in conjunction with the study of the Westward Movement of the United States.
Pioneer Lesson Plans
This links-site connects to a number of lessons related to pioneer life.
Westward Movement from Pepperdine University
This unit focuses on the nation's regional development in the West.
log cabin
Lewis & Clark
Oregon trail
spinning wheel
weaving loom
candle making
dried fruit
quill pen
broad ax
ash hopper
Homestead Act
wagon train
Johnny cake
land run
'leather britches'
spring house
Pony Express
oxen yoke
post rider
lye soap
'wild west'
mountain men
colonial life
Revolutionary War
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 9/99. Updated by Nancy Smith, 2/02.