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A Giant Conestoga Wagon or The Wagon Stops Here!



A Giant Conestoga Wagon or The Wagon Stops Here!
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.82

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    replica, watertight, perhaps, majority, travelers, long-distance, westward, breed, original, misconception, secretary, design, lasted, medium, supplies, journey
     content words:    Oregon Trail, Lancaster County, James Logan, William Penn, Oregon City


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A Giant Conestoga Wagon or The Wagon Stops Here!
By Sandra Marttinen
  

1     Perhaps you heard your parents talking about going on a trip. You think about everything the family did on the last vacation. What an adventure! A thousand questions are going through your head. Where are we going? When are we leaving? What should we pack? Your excitement and plans are the same as a family would have experienced in 1843 before leaving for the Oregon Trail.
 
2     The first step in their plan would be arranging transportation. Your father would either make or buy a wagon. There were three different types of wagons: a light wagon (about 8 feet by 4 feet), a medium-sized wagon with sloping sides and ends (about 10 feet by 4 feet), and a Conestoga wagon (about 18 feet by 4 feet). Many people think this was the wagon used by most of the pioneers. This is not true. Conestogas were freight wagons used to transport goods and were mostly used in the East.
 
3     Conestoga wagons would have been too big and expensive for most travelers on the Oregon Trail. The top was 28 feet long. It. was made from several types of wood. Oak was best for the wheels, while fir was used for the tongue. Blacksmiths used iron on the frame and bottom. Most of them had canvas covers to protect the contents. Its size and weight would have made it difficult and dangerous to drive over rivers and the Rocky Mountains. Oxen would have become exhausted and would have died from pulling it on the long journey over the Oregon Trail.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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