Have some fun with history by adding this article and the attached worksheet to your history curriculum. Your students may have a new view on life after they find out the difference in the life of pioneers as compared to their own!
Life in the pioneer world was very different than it is in modern times. One way that American history students can understand how pioneers lived is by comparing the pioneer world to their own world. Read the material below with your students and ask them to compare the chores of the pioneers with their own chores at home. Then, do the attached worksheet with your students to reinforce what they have learned about pioneer chores.
What kind of chores do you do at home? Do you do the dishes, clean your room and take care of your pets? Pioneer children had a very different life. many of them did not even attend school because there may not have been a school available and the children were needed for work at home. Even if they did attend school, most of them would not have graduated, having to drop out of school at a very young age to help with the work at home. How do the chores below compare with what you do at home?
- Get up at sunrise and milk the cows, feed the farm animals.
- Work all day in the fields plowing, planting, weeding and harvesting.
- Bring in water from the creek or rain barrel for cooking and washing.
- Hunting for food.
- Cleaning and preparing food, which may include cleaning and salting or smoking the meat as well as cleaning, drying and canning the vegetables.
- Looking for firewood, then chopping and stacking it.
- Spinning plants to make thread. Using thread to make material. Using material to make clothes.
- Searching for herbs for cooking and healing.
- Assisting with the building of homes or barns.
- Taking care of younger brothers or sisters.
- Helping with any repairs on the property such as mending fences and fixing leaking roofs.
Pioneer children had very little time to play. Very often, the play time they got was when they snuck off from doing their chores to go take a swim in the creek! There were no video games and no allowance for work done. By the time they got to go to bed, they were so tired that they welcomed bedtime!