The Pony Express Adventure

A Social Studies WebQuest for 4th Grade

Designed by

Branin Sigler & Elaina Jewell





You are in for a wild ride in The Pony Express! Let’s saddle up and learn all about it! Imagine yourself in 1860 when the postal service was on horseback. Email, airmail, and vehicle mail did not exist. How do you think letters got to where they were going? How long did it take? How much did it cost? You’ll be able to find the answers to these questions and a whole lot more by exploring The Pony Express!

The Task


You will be writing a letter to a friend of your choice describing The Pony Express. Your letter should include what it is, who was involved, where it took place, how much it cost to mail a letter in 1860 and 1861, and why the Pony Express ended. You should be writing this letter as if your friend knows nothing about The Pony Express.


The Process

To begin your research for your letter, you must use the provided websites below to find out your information.  Click the letter guide worksheet below to help you form your letter.

Letter Guide (worksheet)


Basic History of The Pony Express  

Time line and who was involved

The route of The Pony Express and the cities involved (click on Pony Express Route)

Everything you need to know (including costs of mail delivery)


v  Your letter will be handed in and graded based on the following rubric. Make sure your letter is detailed and contains all the elements that are required such as who, what, when, where, and why.

v  Click on this quiz below and see how much you have learned about The Pony Express.














Sentence Structure


Uses fragments, poor use of punctuation, and poor grammar.

Uses some complete sentences, some proper punctuation, and fair use of grammar.

Uses complete sentences, proper punctuation and good use of grammar.

Uses complete sentences, proper punctuation, and excellent use of grammar.


Letter Format



Has no letter format elements.

Has at least one letter format elements such as proper greetings, closings, and indentations.

Has two or more letter format elements such as proper greetings, closings, and indentations.

Excellent proper greeting, closing, and indentation elements.


Letter Details



No letter details.

Is missing no less than two details of who, what, when, where, and why.

Has some details on who, what, when, where, and why.

Excellent details on who, what, when, where, and why.


Great Job! Hopefully you have learned a lot more about what The Pony Express was all about. If you would like to check out some other resources on The Pony Express, here our some other sites for you to browse and some books that you can check out about The Pony Express!


Credits & References

Teacher Page

This book is to provide teachers with an overview of The Pony Express:

A lesson plan for elementary grades on The Pony Express:

A book on The Pony Express: They’re Off!: The Story of the Pony Express



Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page