Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Crew Review: Marshall Publishing Oregon Trail and Pony Express

One of my favorite ways to enhance our book learning is to gather the kids up for a video on whatever topic we're exploring. We don't have cable, so having special screen time is always a treat. And the kids enjoy documentaries and science and history specials. So, I couldn't wait to receive Marshall Publishing's "The History of the Oregon Trail and Pony Express" DVD to review.

About this Video
Current Price: $19.95
Running Time: 35 minutes (Oregon Trail) / 16 minutes (Pony Express)
Recommended for: Grades 4+
- "The History of the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express" uses historical pictures, interesting music and narration to describe the experience of early Americans as they traveled west seeking prosperity through a dangerous trek over land, and the brief history of the United States' first postal system using horses and brave, young riders as they delivered mail from outpost-to-outpost.

So, What Did We Think?

One evening, I popped the DVD into my laptop and the Saplings watched it, but not with complete interest. I asked them what they thought of it. "Eh, so-so!" answered Sugar Maple.  "It's OK," shrugged Balsam Fir. I don't know if it was the timing or lack of interest in the subject matter, but neither Sugar Maple nor Balsam Fir were excited about this video. There's nothing really WRONG with it though! There are study guides with comprehension questions available, and the video would be a great "jumping off point" to studying the Oregon Trail and Pony Express or wrapping up a lapbook or unit study. There was a nice flow of photos and maps and catchy music to see and hear. And the video wasn't overly long. But my Sapling haven't asked to watch it again, although they decided to hunt up our old "Oregon Trail" CD-rom game so maybe they were more interested than they let on? I'm not giving up though! Perhaps another time will bring about more interest.

Interested in purchasing Marshall Publishing's Oregon Trail and Pony Express or any other videos? Head over to the website here and use this code to save first class shipping: TOS27. Or see what other TOS crew members are saying here!

Disclaimer: Our Side of the Mountain received this video from Marshall Publishing, "The History of the Oregon Trail and Pony Express", free in exchange for our honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. For more information, please go to the Marshall Publishing website.

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