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Andrew P. Hill (1853–1922), Crossing the Plains, circa early 1900s, gelatin silver print. Autry Museum of the American West; P.12974

Andrew P. Hill (1853–1922), Crossing the Plains, circa early 1900s, gelatin silver print. Autry Museum of the American West; P.12974

Six Trails West

Resource Type
Grade Level:
Social Studies
Westward Migration, Geography

Self-Paced Lesson

Students will learn about how and why people moved west during the 1800s. Students will investigate the six trails pioneers used to travel west, pick a trail, create a packing list and write a fictional journal entry on the journey based on what they learned about the trail west.


CA HSS 5.8.4

Lesson and Resources

Lesson: Six Trails WestSpanish

Student Response Sheet: Six Trails West Fillable Student Response SheetSpanish

Webinar: Trails West

Associated Education Lessons

Teaching Tips for Different Learning Environments

Whole Class In-Person Learning: Group project - pack a suitcase, present trail and suitcase. Or, Students view others' trail maps, and write a journal entry for a day on that trail or creates a packing list based on what they see.

Whole Class Distance Learning: Challenge students to physically collect objects for their packing list and dress in an outfit for the trail.

Tech Fun: Use Padlet maps, Google Tours or another application and students add information on a trail to the map: stops and points of interest, packing list, journal to trail.

Educational Programs at the Autry are sponsored by:

Dean and Laura Beresford · Molly and Neal Brockmeyer · Vince and Colleen Caballero · Capital Group · David F. Eisenberg · The Georgina-Fredrick Children's Foundation · Christy McAvoy · Marleen and Bruce Rognlien · Robert E. Ronus · Brenda and Gary Ruttenberg · The Steinmetz Foundation · Virginia F. Stevenson · Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation

Land Acknowledgment

The Autry Museum of American West acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). We recognize that the Autry Museum and its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

The Autry Museum in Griffith Park

4700 Western Heritage Way

Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
Located northeast of downtown, across from the Los Angeles Zoo.
Map and Directions

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Saturday–Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

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