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Take a virtual field trip and make 13 stops along the Oregon Trail. This virtual field trip is a great brain-stimulating activity for older adults. Perfect for an activity schedule, therapeutic recreation, or independent learning, this versatile activity is set up and ready to go. Using a combination of Google Earth™ 360-degree views, informational text, video, and visuals, this virtual tour includes visits to reconstructed sites to learn the history and significance of westward expansion and the Oregon Trail from multiple perspectives. 


This virtual field trip covers:

:: Native lands recognition

:: What was the Oregon Trail?

:: Why move west?

:: Routes traveled

:: Disruption of Indigenous peoples

:: African Americans on the trail (Biddy Mason)

:: Independence, Missouri

:: Covered wagons & oxen vs. horses

:: Preparations

:: Departure times

:: Actual vs. perceived dangers

:: Fort Kearny

:: Typical day

:: Chimney Rock

:: Scott's Bluff

:: Mitchell’s Pass

:: North Platte River crossing

:: Fort Laramie

:: Laramie Peak

:: Donner-Reed Party & Donner Pass

:: Independence Rock

:: South Pass

:: Women crossing (Narcissa Whitman & Eliza Hart Spalding)

:: Women and babies

:: Children on the trail (Spalding family)

:: Soda Springs

:: Fort Hall

:: Fort Boise

:: Flagstaff Hill

:: Blue Mountains

:: The Dalles

:: Columbia River

:: Oregon City

:: Willamette Valley

:: First years after arrival

:: Homestead Act of 1862

:: Oregon exclusion laws

:: Long-term impacts and Native Americans

:: Transcontinental Railroad


This Virtual Field Trip Includes:

:: Google Slides version

:: PDF version for use with a screen reader

:: Dyslexia friendly font

:: Oregon Trail coloring page with map

:: Oregon Trail word find & answer key

:: Printable Passport with glue-on stamp (great for motor skills)

:: Informational Text (build background knowledge)

:: Critical thinking response questions for discussion

:: Clickable links to Google Earth™ 360-degree views

:: Clickable video links (average 10 min)


How it Works:

This virtual field trip can be conducted as a whole group activity with an activity director serving as the "tour guide." Project the virtual field trip on a screen and have participants follow along with or without their own devices. This can also be provided as a therapeutic recreation activity that is completed independently. A Google Slides version is included as well as a PDF version for use with a screen reader. 



This virtual field trip is structured. This means that the informational text and links are meaningful and are meant to lead participants to think critically as discussion questions are included throughout. A printable word find and coloring map sheet are also included that can be handed out at the beginning or end of the trip or used as an extension activity.



This virtual field trip includes an easy to assemble printable passport. Step-by-step assembly directions are provided. The passport includes a personal info page for space to add a photograph. A printable stamp is included. Simply cut out and use a glue stick to add the stamp to the passport. This is a great way to incorporate motor skills. Add stamps to the passport as you continue to travel the world virtually!



Please note that to conduct this virtual field trip you will need to access Google Earth.™  Google Earth™ can be accessed on a desktop using Chrome as the browser. If using a tablet or smartphone, simply download the Google Earth App before starting the virtual field trip. You will also need access to YouTube to view the video clips. Tech support is included with purchase.


License Information: This purchase includes a single license. It is intended for use with one residency, community, and/or client group. If you wish to share this across multiple residencies or with your colleagues, please purchase additional license(s).


If you have questions, feel free to reach out prior to purchasing. Looking for another virtual field trip that you don’t see? Let me know! I can be reached directly by email at:


Thank you!

Michelle McDonald, B.A.E.

Social Studies Education, K-12

Elementary Education K-8

U.S. History: Oregon Trail Virtual Field Trip for Older Adults

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