The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Thirteen ways to think about Register Cliff

Thirteen ways to think about Register Cliff

Quiz Yourself

Here are some questions to ask before you visit Register Cliff, while you’re there, and again after you return:

  1. How many names do you think there are on the cliff?
  2. Why do you think people carved their names?
  3. What do you think they were thinking about when they carved their names?
  4. What is the oldest date you can find with a name?
  5. What is the most recent date?
  6. When there are no dates with the name, are there ways you can guess which names are old and which ones aren’t?
  7. How do you think they carved the names that are high up on the cliff?
  8. Would this have been a good place to camp? Why or why not?
  9. What was the Oregon Trail? The California Trail? The Mormon Trail? What connection do they have with Wyoming? With Register Cliff?
  10. What was life like for the travelers who camped here with their wagon trains?
  11. Assuming they were heading west from Missouri or Iowa, how long would they have been traveling at this point?
  12. How far did they have to go to reach Oregon? To reach California? To reach Utah?
  13. Would you have carved your name here if you’d been passing in a wagon train? Why or why not?

THERE ARE TONS of more good questions a person could ask about Register Cliff

SEND US three interesting Register Cliff questions of your own. Be sure to identify your school and classroom teacher or note if you are home schooled when you send in questions. Contact editor@wyohistory.org for information on a 2014-2015 contest for submitting the most questions.

Note to teachers:

This lesson addresses a number of the Wyoming State Social Studies Standards detailed in the 2013 draft of Wyoming Social Studies Content and Performance Standards, benchmarked for the ends of grades 2, 5, 8 and 12. All are available at http://edu.wyoming.gov/sf-docs/publications/DRAFT_2013_Social_Studies_Standards.pdf?

More specifically, the lesson addresses Content Standard 4, Time, Continuity and Change, under which students analyze events, people, problems, and ideas within their historical contexts, and Content Standard 5, People, Places and Environments, under which students apply their knowledge of the geographic themes (location, place, movement, region, and human/environment interactions) and skills to demonstrate an understanding of interrelationships among people, places, and environment.

Under Content Standard 4, the lesson addresses standards SS5.4.4. SS8.4.4 and SS12.4.4, which call for students to discuss, identify or describe historical interactions between and among individuals, families, and cultural/ethnic groups, and standards SS5.4.5, SSD8.4.5 and 12.4.5, which call for students to understand the difference between primary and secondary sources, and how to use them in their research.

Under Content Standard 5, this lesson addresses the Human Place and Movement standards SS2.5.3, SS5.5.3 (which specifically mentions American Indians and the Oregon Trail), SS8.5.3 and SS12.5.3, and the Environment and Society standards SS2.5.4, SS5.5.4, SS8.5.4 and SS12.5.4, which call on students to understand how people in Wyoming adjust and have adjusted to their physical and geographical environment.