If you’re looking for Old West learning activities to go with cowboys and cowgirls, westward expansion, and cattle drives, you have come to the right place! Here’s a learning pack that kids will love.
This printable pack is full of math and language arts activities for kids in 3rd – 5th grades, or ages 8 to 11. Students will work on writing similes to describe happenings in the old west. They’ll practice using creative adjectives and strong verbs. My favorite page might be the tall tales story starters! So funny! There are also plenty of math activities. Kids will work on a budget for ranch shopping, fill out a pay ledger, round to the nearest hundred, answer division word problems, and more.
I created this printable pack for my 8 and 10 year olds. We joke that my 10 year old son was born a cowboy. Jonathan got his first pair of cowboy boots for Christmas when he was 2, almost 3. As a preschooler, he loved to dress up in boots, spurs, chaps, a vest, western shirt, and cowboy hat, despite the fact that none of his three older brothers were really into any of this.
I figured Jonathan would outgrow his cowboy phase, but as a fifth grader, he still wears his western attire everywhere! Walmart, the orthodontist, etc… He has a summer straw cowboy hat and a winter cowboy hat (black felt). He started horseback riding lessons this year and plans to be a rancher.
We do live in cowtown, after all. Historically, Fort Worth was one of the top cattle markets in the nation. There have always been lots of cattle and cowboys in Fort Worth! Even today, you can head down to the historic Fort Worth Stockyards and watch a daily reenactment of a cattle drive. The Stockyards are one of Jonathan’s favorite places! You feel like you’re stepping back in time.
If you ever have a chance to visit Fort Worth, you’ll want to watch the cattle drive, and then watch Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show. Then eat some ribs at Riscky’s BBQ!
The cowboys who ride in the cattle drive look they stepped right out of the 1800’s. So cool! Here in Texas, we have a lot of longhorn cattle.
The Cowboy and Old West Learning Pack has 25 pages of printable learning activities.
Here’s what you’ll get:
- Two pages of Old West Vocabulary
- Old West Adjectives
- Adverbs on the Ranch
- Sophie Lou’s Vivacious Verbs
- Old West Similes
- Campfire Tall Tales – a silly verbal storytelling activity
- Design your own Wanted Poster
- Buckaroo Ben’s Facts and Opinions
- Buckaroo Ben’s Sloppy Letter Home – editing
- Old West Writing Prompts – 8 prompts for fiction and nonfiction writing
- Themed Handwriting Paper – 4 options
- Ranch Shopping – math word problems
- Division at Dry Creek Ranch
- Everyone Loves Payday – complete a pay ledger
- Rounding at the Ranch
- Old West Multiplication Puzzles
- Old West Addition Puzzles
- Animals on the Ranch – graphing
- Recommended Book List
- Recommended Hands-On Activities
Here’s a peek at some of the language art’s activities.
And here’s a look at some of the math activities.
How to Use the Cowboy and Old West Learning Pack
This Cowboy and Old West learning pack is the perfect complement to a history textbook unit on westward expansion. You can also build your own spine to this unit by checking out books from the library on westward expansion, cattle drives, ranching, and horseback riding.
Or, you can make this a literature based unit! I created this printable pack for both boys and girls. However, it may provide some “boy balance” to the Little House on the Prairie books, which tend to be more loved by girls. Read the little house books, and then add this pack to pull in the boys!
Another top recommendation is Little Britches by Ralph Moody. Little Britches is the true story of Ralph’s childhood. His family moved from New England to Denver, Colorado in the early 1900’s to start a ranch. It’s so well written, and one of my favorite books for discussing issues of character with kids, especially boys. The book also provides a great overview of ranch life, horseback riding, and the difficulties of a self-sufficient life before the modern conveniences we now have!
Heads up: the story does have some sad moments, most notably the ending where Ralph’s father dies. Also, I edited for language as I read aloud. The language is nothing major. I would consider it “rough around the edges” speech from ranchers. Still, it’s worth knowing ahead of time. Such an amazing book, though. We are currently reading the sequel, Man of the Family, and loving it every bit as much!
The photo below is Jonathan at his horseback riding lesson. This is his favorite horse!
Choose the Pages that Fit Your Learner
Not every page in this pack will work for every student! However, there are so many great options, and I’m confident that you’ll find plenty to use for students ages 8 – 11.
Activities such as the adjectives page are beneficial for anyone. Students who already know what adjectives are will still benefit from exploring descriptive words for western topics before writing.
Ready to purchase your Cowboy and Old West Learning Pack?
This product is a digital download. You will receive the file, and you can save and print from there.
The price for this product is $7.50. Click the blue “Add to Cart” button and complete your purchase! Please contact me with any questions. frugalfun4boys @ gmail
Trish Winchel Sep 27, 2022
We visited Fort Worth in early May, and reading your post today brought back so many memories! We went to the rodeo and yes, we did eat at Riscky's BBQ! Great cowboy (and cowgirl) food. We are grandparents of 15 kiddos and I get lots of wonderful ideas for activities and science experiments from you. You are such an inspiration! A couple of my grands are big Lego fans so I recently bought the "gears" Lego set you recommended for our next sleepover. Thank you so much! God bless you!
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