Another purpose is to allow you to work together as a class to further the story of historical characters based on your reasoning powers and understanding of the place/time/culture in question. You as a class will take these characters on their journey. I will then provide you with information about the events that form the basis for this scenario to compare where the class story went to the realities of what actually happened.
Yet another purpose is to allow you each to exercise (in a small way) your creative muscles in a context rooted in the U.S. history. That is what you will do with this scenario.
You are to contribute twice to this project. The first contribution is for you to take the narrative as it stands in the description and push it further. You must do so based on what those who contributed before you decided to do with the scenario and characters involved. You must follow upon whatever decisions previous posts have made to continue the story. You are limited to a paragraph (4-5 sentences) of development. If you exceed this limit or defy the rules listed below, you will not earn the points for the posting.
The second contribution will occur after the whole class has written the story and will appear in another thread.
You cannot do any of the following in your postings to this project:
- Kill any of the characters off. They must be available to the entire class to develop to the end of the assignment.
- Defy the laws of physics or reality. The characters cannot fly, engage in magic, be aliens from another planet, wield Thor’s hammer, etc.
- Defy historical fact. This scenario is from the place and time as described below. There are no cars, computers, phones, airplanes, modern vaccines, etc. You cannot bring future technologies into the past. Nor can you bring future ideas. The characters cannot be influenced by Theodore Roosevelt, Gandhi, Tom Landry, or other people who weren’t around yet.
- Attack or completely reverse the postings of other students. While you are certainly free to have the characters make choices that change their course based on what has been posted previously, you cannot completely shift the story in an illogical fashion. For example, if Person A and Person B moved to California in the scenario, you cannot suddenly say they moved to Arkansas instead.
I will check on the scenario daily through the week, and if I see someone violating the rules, I will strike out their posting and allow people to pick up the story where it last made sense.
Place: People on the move (undisclosed location west of the Mississippi River)
When: during westward expansion (1840s-early 1850s)
Lewis, a middle-aged migrant from Ohio
Sarah, a middle-aged migrant from Ohio and Lewis’ wife
Daniel, 14 year old son of Lewis and Sarah
Mary, 10 year old daughter of Lewis and Sarah
Mr. Brown, the leader of a wagon train on the Oregon Trail
Rawls, Davis, and Williams: three young southern men traveling together
Mr. and Mrs. Bauer, German immigrants who have been in America for two years
Thomas and his wife Walela, Thomas is a minister who had been a missionary to the Cherokee. Walela is his Cherokee wife.
Tommy, 17 year old son of Thomas and Walela
Other unnamed travelers
Unnamed people: You can bring in other people (groups or individuals) that the people I mentioned above might REASONABLY encounter along the way/at the destination, whether they be Native Americans, Latinos, the US Cavalry, Mormons, other westward travelers, etc.). If you choose to bring others into the story, simply refer to them by group name (i.e. a group of Mormons, or a Cheyenne warrior, etc.)
Keep in mind the things you have been learning about antebellum America and westward expansion. This will help you further the characters stories in a way that would make sense in the place/time in question.
Remember, there are no “right or wrong” postings here unless you violate one of the rules listed above. This is a chance for you to collectively create a story using your knowledge of the place/time in question to develop historical characters.