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Unit Plan
Core Knowledge Foundation

Westward Expansion Tell It Again!™ Read-Aloud Anthology

For Teachers 2nd Standards
The westward expansion is the focus of a read-aloud anthology. Pupils will listen to and discuss stories about going West, an adventure on the Erie Canal, the Trail of Tears, the Oregon Trail, the Pony Express, and the transcontinental...
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Unit Plan
Core Knowledge Foundation

Frontier Explorers Tell It Again!™ Read-Aloud Anthology

For Teachers 1st Standards
The last read-aloud anthology in the series showcases frontier explorers. First graders listen to texts about Daniel Boone, crossing the Appalacian Mountains, Lewis and Clark, dangers on the prairie, and more. After reading, pupils...
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Unit Plan
Annenberg Foundation

Masculine Heroes

For Teachers 6th - 12th
What were the driving forces behind American expansion in the nineteenth century, and what were its effects? Scholars watch a video, read biographies, engage in discussion, write journals and poetry, draw, and create a multimedia...
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Unit Plan
Core Knowledge Foundation

Fairy Tales and Tall Tales Tell It Again!™ Read-Aloud Anthology

For Teachers 2nd Standards
Enrich a unit on fairy tales and tall tales with a set of read-aloud lessons. Second graders hone writing, vocabulary, comprehension, and literary analysis skills as they read classic stories. Complete with extension projects, discussion...
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Lesson Plan
Curated OER

Westward Ho!

For Teachers 5th - 9th
For any teacher of American History, The Lewis and Clark Expedition is a watershed event that should be shared with your learners. This is a very good lesson on the Expedition, and the events that led up to it; including The Lousisiana...
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Lesson Plan
Curated OER

Wagons Ho! Hard Times! Hard Choices!

For Teachers 3rd - 5th
You have just hit the lesson plan jackpot! This isn't just a lesson plan, it's a ten-day unit covering westward expansion, pioneer life, and the Oregon Trail. Activities include baking, model building, role-play, newspaper writing,...
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Lesson Plan
Curated OER

Integrated Lesson Plan

For Teachers 4th - 5th
An ambitious and engaging lesson on the Westward Movement for your learners to enjoy! Groups of learners rotate between learning tasks such as learning about the Chislom Trail, Lewis and Clark, and the Gold Rush. A WebQuest is also...
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Lesson Plan
Center for History Education

Transforming the West: Did the Reality Match the Expectations for Kansas Homesteaders?

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
They expected good soil and hearty crops ... but they found buffalo chips and grasshopper plagues. Using an advertisement encouraging famers to go west, budding historians examine primary sources including letters, photographs, and...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Patent Analysis: Joseph Glidden's Barbed Wire

For Teachers 3rd - 6th Standards
Barbed wire may have made cattle farming easier, but it brought to an end the free-roaming days of the plains. No longer could Native American groups continue their nomadic lifestyle, and the days of cowboys herding large groups of...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Reasons for Westward Expansion

For Teachers 7th - 12th Standards
"Go West, young man!" is a familiar refrain in American history. But why did people leave their homes in the East to travel westward and what impact did that movement have on people already living in the American West? By examining...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Patent Analysis: J.W. Davis and Levi Strauss's Fastening Pocket Openings

For Teachers 3rd - 6th Standards
Commonplace today, the zipper and button construction of blue jeans was a major innovation. Using the patent for the J.W. Davis and Levi Strauss innovation, individuals comb an image of the fly for clues. Afterward, they discuss its...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Evaluating Perspectives on Westward Expansion

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Although popular culture tells the story of the American West simplistically, its reality is far more complex. Native American tribes—while already on the land—didn't have the same interests, and conflicts between white settlers and...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

Lewis and Clark's Expedition to the Complex West

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Lewis and Clark's famous expedition is a prime example of the United States' westward expansion. Aspiring historians examine maps from Lewis and Clark's journey, as well as discuss their interactions with Native American tribes. The...
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Lesson Plan
Stanford University

Carlisle Indian Industrial School

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
How do policies aimed to help actually hurt? Native American boarding schools—an attempt at assimilating children of indigenous tribes into white culture—had a shattering effect on those who attended. With primary sources, including...
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Assessment
Stanford University

Transcontinental Railroad

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Did the Transcontinental Railroad connect the nation or divide it? Learners demonstrate their knowledge of the impact of the Transcontinental Railroad in a written assessment. The assessment also uses an original photo as a prompt for...
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Lesson Plan
Stanford University

Great Plains Homesteaders

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
"Westward, ho!" may have been their cry in spite of the hardships. Using a series of photographs by Solomon D. Butcher of those who ventured west, class members consider what life was like in the 1800s for those who embarked on the...
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Interactive
University of Richmond

The Overland Trails 1840-1860

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
What led Americans to head west in the 1800s? Using an interactive map and journals from those who traveled, pupils explore the stories of those who migrated. In addition, they see how the numbers fluctuated in response to the push-pull...
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Lesson Plan
PBS

Sitting Bull: Spiritual Leader and Military Leader

For Teachers 3rd - 7th Standards
Sitting Bull was not expected to be a great warrior. Yet, he led the Lakota people and other tribes to several pivotal victories against the United States government when federal troops threatened their land. Using primary sources, such...
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Unit Plan
Annenberg Foundation

America's History in the Making: Classroom Applications Three

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
How can primary sources bring history to life? Scholars create detailed lesson plans on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in American history. The 17th installment of a 22-part program exploring American history examines...
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Unit Plan
Annenberg Foundation

Taming the American West

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
Have you ever seen a movie about the romance of the American West with its buffalo, horses, cowboys, and endless frontier? The 13th installment of a 22-part series on American history presents the myths associated with the American West....
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Lesson Plan
PBS

Myth of the West: Lonely But Free I’ll Be Found

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
Tumbling tumbleweeds! Scholars work with video clips, primary and secondary documents, and song lyrics to uncover life in the Old West. They examine song's lyrics to uncover myths told in the 1930s about life in the Wild West. 
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Lesson Plan
PBS

Using Primary Sources: The Rogue's Gallery

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
What would be in your life's scrapbook? Scholars use short video clips, primary and secondary documents, and photos to investigate a 1909 scrapbook. They analyze and uncover what the Rogue Book tells them about the past in Western...
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Lesson Plan
PBS

Myth of the West: The Battle of the Washita

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
Go West, young man! Scholars use PBS video clips, slide shows, and interactive materials to create a picture of Manifest Destiny in the American West. Using a variety of primary and secondary sources, young historians learn about the...
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Lesson Plan
PBS

Myth of the West: Kit Carson to the Rescue

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
There's nothing like the Wild Wild West! Scholars investigate the American Frontier through the eyes of Kit Carson. To complete the first installment of a three-part series, they use presentations, a short video, and primary and...