Map the Frontier for Settlers!

Building the West: Buffalo Soldiers

Cover-Building the West

TPW Magazine, February 2010
If you don't have a copy of the TPW magazine, you may print a copy of Building the West: Buffalo Soldiers.(PDF)

One important job for the Buffalo Soldiers was to draw maps of the places they scouted. They mapped important features such as mountains, hills, canyons, forests, and rivers. This was important because Texas is such a big state and people moving here needed to know where they were going.


Mapping was an important mission of the Buffalo Soldiers

Divide your class or friends into two groups. One group will be Scouts & Soldiers. The other group will be Settlers.

First have the Scouts explore your playground or nearby park with the Soldiers. The Soldiers make a map of the location. On the map, identify important objects like buildings, trees, playground equipment, fences, and even changes in the ground. It is very important that your map is as accurate as possible.

The Soldiers then give the map to the Settlers. The Settlers look closely at the soldier map and pick a place to settle. Using the map, see if the Settlers can find their way to their settlement.

Once your settlers safely reach their settlement, your mission is complete. You are now honorary Junior Buffalo Soldiers! Congratulations!