Unit 5: Social Studies Connection

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You've Got Mule Mail!

About 140 years ago, the Pony Express delivered mail to some parts of the United States. Today, mail is delivered to most communities by cars, trucks, trains, and planes. But in Supai, Arizona, mail carriers still deliver the mail the way carriers did 100 years ago—by mules.

About 600 Native Americans live in Supai. The town is located at the bottom of a canyon near the Grand Canyon.

Letter carrier Charlie Chamberlain loads packages on mules. The mules deliver mail to Supai, Arizona.


Before being delivered in Supai, mail arrives in the post office in Peach Springs, Arizona, about 70 miles from Supai. From Peach Springs, delivery trucks take the mail to the rim of the canyon. Letter carriers then use mules to carry the mail to Supai.

Letter carriers who deliver to Supai don't just carry letters and small packages; they deliver almost everything that goes to Supai.

“It's amazing what people can do when they put their minds to it,” said Charlie Chamberlain, a letter carrier. “They can pack things that you never would have thought of.” A washing machine is the most unusual item Charlie has delivered.

Word Wise

The area in which a group of people live.

A deep valley with steep walls on both sides.

The outside edge.

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Use all three of the Word Wise terms to write a short story. Draw a picture to go with your story.

Data Hunt

You've Got Mule Mail! Quiz
Use your knowledge of fractions and decimals to answer questions about these special deliveries.