Run, pony, Run!

Run, pony, Run!

All Ages

Reading and Writing

Students will know the difference in ways we communicated then and now.

avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

September 18, 2017

Learning Objectives

  • Students will identify similarities and differences in communication during the 1800s and present times and in the future.

Guiding Ideas

The first Pony Express rider left California, headed towards Missouri, in April, 1860. The young men who were Pony Express riders were selected for bravery and weight. It was important for the riders to be light so the ponies could carry both a rider and heavy bags of mail, at a gallop, for many miles.

Ponies were changed out about every 10-15 miles, but riders continued for between 30 to 100 miles, before another rider took over. One of the most important messages carried by the Pony Express was the news that Abraham Lincoln had been elected president. The Pony Express carried the news about 1800 miles, between the start and finish of the brand new telegram lines. By October 1861, the telegraph lines were finished. They now reached from east to west. About 18 months after the first Pony Express rider left California, it was over. Ponies were fast, but the telegraph was faster.

  • What do when you have good news to share about your life?
  • Do you share the news with friends via text or a social media post?
  • What do you think folks did during times of the Oregon Trail?

Student Activities

Pony Express of the Future

  • Break students into groups of 4
  • Ask students to brainstorm ideas of what might replace our current communication tools
  • How might the human race communicate 100 years from now
  • Ask students to prototype these future communication tools and discuss the advantages and drawbacks of using them in everyday lives.

Performance Expectations

  • Evaluate the creativity, collaboration, and ingenuity found in each group's work.
  • Challenge students to consider not just the benefits but potential pitfalls of using these tools
  • Allow students to provide feedback to one and another on their work