Reasons for Westward Expansion

New Review

"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 documents, including laws and patents, individuals consider the reasons for Westward Expansion. After reviewing the documents, class members place them in the correct chronological order and reflect on them with a writing prompt.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Use to open a unit on the American West
  • Complete the activity over time as the class studies the American West
Classroom Considerations
  • Learners need access to a computer device or the Internet to use the lesson
  • Activity can be integrated a variety of ways into instruction on the American West
  • Lesson builds primary source skills using both well-known and lesser-seen primary sources
  • None