How fast can you go?

How fast can you go?

All Ages


Math & Economics

Students will understand how challenging it was to walk for thousands of miles.

avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

September 18, 2017


  • Citizenship
  • Critical Thinking

Learning Objectives

  • Students will understand how long it took to travel the Oregon Trail and how challenging it was to walk for thousands of miles.

Guiding Ideas

  • What is the farthest you've ever walked?
  • To your friend's house?
  • To the park?
  • What would it be like to walk thousands of miles to complete a journey?


With the knowledge that the wagon and emigrants averaged 15 miles a day, students will calculate the rate of speed for different scenarios.

Student Activities

Hurry up! Or can you? Although they had wagons for transporting their supplies, travelers on the Oregon Trail typically walked beside the wagon every day. On average, emigrants traveled 15 miles a day. Travelers started every day around 7 a.m., took an hour break for lunch, and stopped every night around 5 p.m.

• If you walked 15 miles in 9 hours, what was your rate of speed?

• Traveling from Independence, Missouri to Willamette Valley, Oregon is just over 1,800 miles.  If you traveled 15 miles a day, and you were never delayed, how many days would it take you to reach Willamette Valley?

• How quickly can you travel the Oregon Trail now when you do the following activities:

o Riding a bike with the average speed of 12 miles per hour.

o Driving in a car at 40 miles per hour.

o Driving in a car at 70 miles per hour.

o Flying in an airplane at 600 miles per hour.

Performance Expectations

  • Ask students to show their justification and reasoning for their responses.


  • Citizenship
  • Critical Thinking