Lesson Plan

Manifest Destiny: U.S. Territorial Expansion

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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 perspectives on the policy, creating a two-voice poem encapsulating these opinions.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Use the lesson as part of a study of westward expansion or during November's Native American Heritage Month
  • Print the two maps on transparencies, overlay them, and project them to provide context for the lesson
  • Use the PowerPoint to guide the lesson
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires a projector with internet for the maps and the slide show
  • Provides links that detail the learning strategies used in the lesson
  • Materials are available in both English and Spanish
  • Teacher's notes provide extra scaffolding and offer sample responses to discussion questions
  • None