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Trappers, Traders, and Trailblazers: Mountain Men of the Rocky Mountain West

Was trapping beaver really that hard?

This 30 – 45 minute lesson explores the adventurous culture of the West during the time of the trappers, traders, and trailblazers. Mountain men were rugged individuals who travelled, explored, and lived in the Rocky Mountains in search of valuable beaver pelts. Discover the tools and techniques that mountain men used to survive in the wilderness.

During this lesson, students will learn about the natural history of beavers as well as why their pelts were so valuable to mountain men. Students contemplate just what it would take to be a mountain man, the skills he needed, and all the accoutrements he required for survival. The presenter will introduce hands-on collection pieces relating directly to the life of the mountain man. Student participation is encouraged. This lesson will uncover this colorful character in western American History. This virtual field trip is interdisciplinary, meeting Common Core Standards, as well as national standards in social studies, history, and art.

Additional resources

YouTube videos

Trappers, Traders, and Trailblazers: Mountain Men of the Rocky Mountain West
Grade Level: 4–12
Length: 45 minutes (35 of instruction & 5–10 for questions)
Learning Objectives:
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