What is the purpose of Westward Expansion?
The purpose of Westward Expansion is to try to make your family's wealth better. Or to try to get better farmland. Or just to explore to new places! At the time, people thought that the land beyond the Rocky Mountains was magical. They thought that crops grew all year, and that the farmland was amazing! That is the purpose of going to the west. However, to get to this land, there was a big risk that they would have to take. Would you be adventurous enough to travel to the west?
How was daily life different on the trail?
Daily life was very different on the trail. For children, you would still do school, but you would have your parents or older sibling teach you. You would still have to do chores as well. However, instead of you doing housekeeping chores, you would have different chores for your entire family to do. For example, milking the cows, fetching water, watching cattle, cooking food, washing dishes, skinning animals, collecting buffalo chips, drying blankets and quilts, and hanging jerky to dry. Those are just some of the jobs that you would have to do just about every day. Of course, you could still have fun on the trip, but in different ways than how you would usually have fun. Also, there were a few ways to send letters and receive them, so you could still communicate with others. Daily life was much harder on the trail.
What did a covered wagon look like?
A covered wagon is a wagon with a white cloth covering piece. The cloth was called canvas. The American Settlers covered the wagon in oil to make it waterproof. The wagon was stretched over gigantic wooden hoops that had been bent from one side of the covered wagon to the other. There were drawstrings in the front and the back of the covered wagon's canvas. If the strings were pulled tightly, then you could close the ends of the canvas to protect the wagon from bad weather. A cool feature of the wagon's canvas is that you can roll it up! The bottom part of the covered wagon looked like a normal wagon, but the front wheels were longer than the back wheels! This was because with the small front wheels, you could make sharper turns. Inside the wagon, there were hooks that you could hang things up. On the back of the wagon, was a hook for a bucket full of grease. The grease would need to be rubbed on the wagon's wheels so that the wagon could turn smoothly. On the front of the wagon, there was a wooden board for sitting. The covered wagon was usually pulled by oxen. However, you could also pull it with horses or mules. That is what a covered wagon looks like.