Teacher Review For The Oregon Trail

Heading west with a classic game

Lynn S.
Dean of Student Life
The Montclair Kimberley Academy
Montclair, NJ
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My Grades 6
My Subjects Social Studies
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 4
Support 4
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Individual
Knowledge gain
Small group
Great with Advanced learners
General
How I Use It

This was one of the first games I ever used in the classroom, way back when.

The graphics are greatly improved, but I was glad to see that the game had not changed much otherwise. It is still very compelling for kids, and they learn a good bit about the Oregon Trail without even realizing it.

Multiple difficulty levels make it accessible for kids of many grade levels and abilities.

I was, however, disappointed to see that the money given to players in the game was minimal; more can be purchased for real money online.

I'm certain that would be a temptation for many students, for whom winning is sometimes more important than learning.

My Take

Oregon Trail is an addictive adventure game based on the experience of travelling westward in a covered wagon. At the start of the trip, players choose a wagon and stock it with supplies.

Along they way they encounter hazards, ford rivers, hunt for food and trade with locals.

Travel too quickly and it takes a toll on travelers and the wagon, too slowly and you don't get through the mountains before the weather turns bad.

In addition to the realistic game play, the app provides lots of additional information about traveling the trail, assuming kids take the time to read it.