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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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Lesson Plan
1
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Smithsonian Institution

Two Perspectives on the Battle of Little Bighorn/Greasy Grass

For Teachers 6th - 8th Standards
Learners understand why historians conduct research and the importance of perception when it comes to studying history. The resource covers The Wars of Expansion and the Battle of Little Bighorn/Greasy Grass through group work, debate,...
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Lesson Plan
Curated OER

Integrated Lesson Plan

For Teachers 4th - 5th
An ambitious and engaging lesson plan on the Westward Movement for your students 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
National Park Service

Adeline Hornbek and the Homestead Act: A Colorado Success Story

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
Students examine how the Homestead Act impacted the economic opportunities of women. They research the Homestead Act, define Manifest Destiny, and prepare an exhibit featuring an outstanding woman living in their community.
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Lesson Plan
Carolina K-12

Manifest Destiny and the Lewis and Clark Expedition

For Teachers 8th Standards
Beginning with a thorough presentation on the concept of Manifest Destiny and background information on the Louisiana Purchase, your young historians will then consider the demands of the Lewis and Clark expedition and compose journal...
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Lesson Plan
K20 LEARN

Manifest Destiny: U.S. Territorial Expansion

For Teachers 8th
A close examination of John Gast's painting "American Progress" launches a study of the concept of Manifest Destiny used to justify United States' policy of westward expansion. Young historians read statements from persons with different...
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Lesson Plan
K20 LEARN

Whose Manifest Destiny? Westward Expansion

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Your land is my land! Young historians investigate the concept of Manifest Destiny used by the United States government to justify western expansion. Jigsaw groups read primary source documents to gain an understanding of the movement...
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Lesson Plan
K20 LEARN

Surviving Assimilation: American Indian Boarding Schools

For Teachers 9th
The boarding school era is "a history that all of us need to know about," says Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. Here's a lesson that examines that history. High schoolers examine video interviews of Native Americans who detail...
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Lesson Plan
Anti-Defamation League

Analyzing Primary Source Documents to Understand U.S. Expansionism and 19th Century U.S.-Indian Relations

For Teachers 11th - 12th Standards
Historical events can be viewed from multiple perspectives. This simple truth is brought home in a lesson that examines primary source documents related to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Doctrine of Discovery and Manifest Destiny,...
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Study Guide
Penguin Books

A Teacher's Guide to the Signet Classics Edition of Willa Cather's My Ántonia

For Teachers 9th - Higher Ed
Willa Cather's My Antonia might seem like a hard sell for today's teen readers. Rather than dramatic plot twists, trysts, and terrors, the novel celebrates the pioneer spirit that lead immigrants to a small Nebraska town. The Signet...
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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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Lesson Plan
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Smithsonian Institution

Native Resistance: Native Resistance Then and Now

For Teachers 8th - 11th Standards
Native Americans lost so much—and gained so little in return. Scholars explore Native Americans' resistance to the United States government. The lesson uses primary sources to explore the different forms of protest and gives a voice to...
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Lesson Plan
2
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Smithsonian Institution

Borders with the World: Mexican-American War and U.S. Southern Borderlands

For Teachers 8th - 11th Standards
The Mexican-American War created social borders—not just physical ones. Scholars learn about the effects of the Mexican-American War on the people living in the borderlands using text excerpts, maps, and partnered activities. Academics...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

The Impact of Westward Expansion on Native American Communities

For Teachers 7th - 12th Standards
Although Westward Expansion is often romanticized, its impact was devastating on Native American communities. Primary source documents, including pictures of United States troops invading indigenous lands and Native American tribes, tell...
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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

Analyzing a Map of the Louisiana Purchase

For Teachers 6th - 8th Standards
With the stroke of a pen, Thomas Jefferson roughly doubled the size of the United States. The Louisiana Purchase not only grew the new country, but also it gave rise to the legends surrounding westward expansion and accelerated the...
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Interactive
DocsTeach

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

For Teachers 6th - 12th
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War, but it did not end tensions between the two nations. The activity provides learners with an opportunity to practical historical analysis with text experts from the Treaty of...
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Lesson Plan
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National Endowment for the Humanities

The Question of an American Empire

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
As it rose to being the new super power, America had a choice: conquer other nations like its European predecessors, or stay home. Using primary source documents from those thinking about American foreign policy in the late 1800s,...
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Website
Independence Hall Association

American History: From Pre-Columbian to the New Millennium

For Teachers 7th - 12th Standards
Need an online resource to supplement the paper textbook in your classroom? An all-encompassing website covers historical events throughout the last half of the second millenium, leading right up to the third. From the pre-Columbian...
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Website
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Smithsonian Institution

Spanish American War

For Students 5th - 12th Standards
Today, Cuba and America sometimes struggle with diplomatic relations, but did you know that America went to war against Spain to free Cuba? Learners examine many interesting facts related to the Spanish American War using an informative...
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Website
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Smithsonian Institution

Mexican War

For Students 5th - 12th Standards
Did you know that without the Mexican War, the United States would not include the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, Utah, and even parts of Colorado? Scholars learn a variety of interesting facts about the...
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Lesson Plan
Alabama Department of Archives and History

Conflict in Alabama in the 1830s: Native Americans, Settlers, and Government

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
To better understand the Indian Removal Act of 1830, class members examine primary source documents including letters written by Alabama governors and the Cherokee chiefs. The lesson is part of a unit on the expansion of the United...
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Lesson Plan
Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media

Westward Expansion: Image and Reality

For Teachers 5th - 8th Standards
As your young historians study Westward Expansion, practice in-depth primary source analysis with the documents and guidelines presented in this resource. They will examine a lithograph and excerpts from two letters written by a Nebraska...
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Activity
Smithsonian Institution

Stamp Stories of Westward Expansion

For Teachers 4th - 7th Standards
What a fantastic project idea for discussing not only the history of America's expansion into the West, but for reviewing any major unit of history in your class. Pupils build stamp collections to visually represent themes of the unit,...