Be a Toll Keeper on the Plank Road

We’re working on teaching materials to go with Plank Road Summer. (Hope to post a draft of a Teacher’s Guide soon – next week? – on the Resources page.)

In the meantime, from those materials, here’s a fun handout, a 1-page activity sheet.

It’s a blank copy of a toll keeper’s ledger page, from p. 153 of Plank Road Summer by Hilda and Emily Demuth.

This worksheet may be reproduced as is for classroom or homeschooling use. It’s perfect to pose some pioneer math problems!

First, you need to create your own schedule of fees for your plank road company. In the book, for instance, the fee at each tollhouse on the Racine and Rock River Plank Road is 5 cents for a wagon pulled by 2 animals.

Now . . . does anyone know what “neat cattle” are?
(* see answer below!)

Click here for the 1-page activity sheet:
Taking Tolls on the Plank Road

* “Neat cattle” weren’t cattle that dressed nicely. It was just a specific term for animals of the bovine persuasion (i.e., cows, heifers, bulls, oxen). Otherwise, the term “cattle” sometimes was considered to include all sorts of “domestic quadrupeds” such as sheep and goats. (At least, I think that’s what “neat cattle” means.)

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Categories: Plank Road Summer Teaching Ideas | Leave a comment

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