The westward movement program covers the time period of exploration and migration during the first half of the nineteenth century.
Letters and diaries from the society's collections are used to guide students' imaginations to a time of adventure and hope, as well as hardship and fear. The students will begin to develop an intimate portrait of a person from the past through his or her written words and connect that image to objects similar to those used by a person traveling in a Conestoga wagon.
Students will identify objects and their uses through hands-on exploration. They will discover that what at first appears to be a cheese grater was actually a lantern or that a small stick was the equivalent to today's toothbrush. The students will also discover the roles that men, women, and children were expected to play on the wagon trails or when they finally settled west of Virginia.