Take it or leave it?

All Ages

Math & Economics

Reading and Writing

Discerning what to take and leave behind is an important skills for students to gain.

avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

September 17, 2017


  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

Learning Objectives

  • Students will analyze and discern priorities about what supplies and items they would take with them traveling on the Oregon Trail.
  • Math: Students will calculate the weight of the items they choose and be sure that it doesn’t exceed the weight limit of 2,000 pounds

Guiding Ideas

Students will explore the options and decisions that travelers had to debate over what to bring on their journey. Working from a list of items, with details about each item’s purpose and weight, students will work in groups to debate what to bring with them and what to leave behind.

Student Activities

Game version (written for players)

You’ve got a long way to go, possibly five months with no grocery stores or pharmacies along the way. What do you need for such a long journey? Your wagon can only hold 2,000 pounds of supplies. With a group, read about the possible items that you could bring on this trek. Which ones do you decide to take and what do you leave behind?

Performance Expectations

  • Assessment of what students choose to bring along and what they choose to keep behind.
  • Quality of justification for the decisions in choosing their items made by students


  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

External References