Orphan Train
by Mrs. Uptegrove's Fourth Grade Class

We put ourselves in the book and I felt happy because they have a better life. I thought the book and working with M.U. was awesome. I thought the idea of the experts was cool. I think because we did this they felt better by talking about it. Bill Oser was happy because he was looking at the  Good side and being happy and funny. Meeting Jean Gassman and Donna Agee was awesome because they were fun about getting to talk to M.U., New York, and us.

by Kassie

I learned from this project that the Orphan train was really more important than I thought. It was neat seeing a person that was really on the Orphan Train. In A Family Apart we put ourselves in the book and I felt like I was Mike, stealing with Danny the money and then going on the train and ending up at someoneís house that wasnít really nice. Mike kept getting in trouble when his stepbrother was the one doing it. The expert Bill Oser told me that he had a little fun in the orphanage. He had fun by somebody giving him a bat and a ball and they would go play.  He also told me to appreciate my parents and I do. 

 By:  Aaron 

When we put our selves in the book I felt like I really was Frances. I thought the book was cool and exciting. And I thought that working with M.U. was fun, exciting, and interesting. I learned that not all orphans got adopted, and that some people were half orphans and the meaning of half orphan. Having the experts share about their past life or their motherís past life was very interesting. Meeting Jean Gassman and Donna Agee was cool and exciting. Bill Oser was fun to listen to because he actually went on the Orphan Train and is an Orphan Train survivor. I liked many things about the conference, like when Mr. Oser said that that the boys at the orphanage used to jump through the windows instead of going through the door. Also when Mrs. Agee told us about when her Dad told her that her Mom was an Orphan Train rider and then told her sisters immediately. Then when her Mom found out she told Donnaís sisters ďDonít pay attention to Donna she makes up stories.Ē  
By Delaney      

Listening to how the experts felt was like listening how my grandma feels about her Nursing Home. My grandma [Hester] doesnít like where she lives now because she doesnít like their neighbors. She doesnít like her Nursing Home either. Grandpa can take her out of her nursing home once in a while but the orphan did not have a choice.. When my Grandpa lived in St. Joe, she would give me things. She still does. I LOVE MY GRANDMA, and I know the parents of the orphans loved them too.  The experts were great to talk to. I really enjoyed learning and studying the ORPHAN TRAIN with all the neat things we did.


I learned from this project that people make fun of orphans because they were adopted.  I also learned that they would look at your teeth to see if you were healthy. 

We put our selves in the book and I felt horrible because being separated from your family would be horrible and it made a few people cry they were so sad, but I think mom did the right thing. 

The experts were interesting because I never knew there was such thing as an orphan train.  One of them showed us a movie and pictures of her mom. They told us all the facts they knew. 

I will never forget how so many children lost their parents and had to go out into the west to find new homes.  
By Lauren 

The Orphan Train Conference was fun and cool because the experts made us feel like we were on the Orphan Train. I still canít believe people would put their children up for adoption! I think everyone should read the book, A Family Apart. Then, I think you should do a big project about it. And if you can get a hold of  Jean Gassman, Donna Agee, Shirley, or Bill Oser, then I am sure they would tell you once again, what is was like on the Orphan Train.  
By Liz 

I thought that the three-way conference with New York and M.U. was very cool because we had the privilege of talking with an  actual Orphan Train survivor, and a few survivors children. We had a really great time talking with them. It was even more educational than books. I really hope Mrs. Uptegroveís class will have this privilege next year.
By Courtney  

Bill Oserís story was very interesting. He had a very good story to tell everyone. He kept me awake when he was telling us his story. Bill has a very good sense of humor. Meeting Jean Donna was good experience. The Orphan Train Experts have good and interesting stories. I learned a lot. 

By Stefan

We put ourselves in the book and it was sad because they were on their own. Having the experts share their thoughts was a wonderful time. Bill Oser was cool. Meeting Jean Gassman and Donna Agee was nice. Listening to how the experts felt was interesting. Using technology for this unit was also fun. 

 By: Mitchell         

I thought Bill Oser was cool, nice, and most of all funny. Cool because, he rode on the Orphan Train, he said he was successful, and he is Whole-Hearted. Nice because, he did the conference with New York and Missouri, he likes people he has never met, and he doesnít mind sharing family history. He was funny because he answered by sometimes laughing, when we asked him questions, he would answer in a funny way sometimes, and he is just a good man.
By: Jake

I liked the orphan train conference because we got to talk to New York that had Bill Oser and MU that had Shirley Andrews and we Smithville had Jean Gassman and   Donna Agee.  I liked the book A Family Apart and making the story webs on the computer. Our expert, Jean, read a letter to us and told us a story about her mother and when she found out. Her mother was in the hospital. I learned a lot about the Orphan Train. And I had a really cool experience. It was also nice to talk to New York and to see other kids across America learning what we are learning. We decided kids are kids, whether they were in the book, in Smithville, or in New York, we all need to be loved and cared for.
By Allison 

I learned from this project that youíre very lucky to have parents for one thing and that they are loving. The experts were very interesting because Bill was an actual orphan train rider and Jean Gassman and Donna Agee were the daughters of one. They had very ,very interesting stories about their parents and their self. The most interesting story was Donnaís. She found out one day when she went to drink coffee with her dad that her mom came on the orphan train. When she found out her mom was an orphan train rider she told everybody. When her mom found out Donna knew she said the weirdest thing. ďDonít anybody listen to Donna she makes up stories.Ē I thought the other stories were very interesting too. I think this experience was very fun, exciting, educational, and enjoyful. Plus, the technology was some of the best Iíve ever seen.

By: Trevis and Ben

We put ourselves in the book and I felt sad and I cried. I thought the book and working with MU was Awesome! Having them share was fun. Bill Oser was cool. Having the students in our classroom from NY was fun! Jean Gassman and Donna Agee made me feel like my Grandma Griswold was alive again! God bless my Grandma Griswold! Meeting Jean Gassman and Donna Agee was something I donít think Iíll ever forget. Listening to how the experts felt was sad. Using technology for this unit was fun!
By Sarah