Westward Expansion

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Our Westward Expansion Lesson Plan identifies key events leading to the expansion and its impact on the United States.  Strengthen concept imagery and develop critical thinking skills as students evaluate the changes reflected in US maps over a specific period of time.

Westward Expansion Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about the Westward Expansion.
  • Progressive Map labeling activity showing the Western Movement across the states
  • Western Expansion creative writing activity
  • Practice Sheet matching each state’s role in the Western Expansion
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

Our Westward Expansion Lesson Plan identifies key events leading to the expansion and its impact on the United States.  Strengthen concept imagery and develop critical thinking skills as students evaluate the changes reflected in US maps over a specific period of time.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Resources Snippet

  1. Ask: How do you think life would be like for you if you were unable to leave your neighborhood, permitted only to stay within 2 or 3 blocks from your home?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. The point of the question is get students to think about the small area, the need to explore or go beyond the 3 blocks, the need for “expansion” as the settlers wanted during Colonial Times, leading to Westward Movement.
  3. Distribute the Westward Movement content pages. Read and review with students, pointing out the events leading to expansion, reasons for, and the results of expansion. Check for student understanding.
  4. Distribute the Activity pages, colored pencils, and U.S. Maps if necessary.
  5. Instruct the students to shade in each map following the instructions, identify and label each state. (Each map, when completed will mostly show the movement west as the years go by.)
  6. In the final map, the students need to shade in each area/territory with a different color. Explain to students the actual borders of the states when founded may not match current borders today.
  7. Once students have completed the activity, ask students what they may notice about each of the maps as the years pass. Responses should include the maps showing the expansion west.
  8. Following a review of the maps, distribute the Practice page.
  9. Give students time to complete and then review the answers with the class.
  10. Distribute the Homework page and review the instructions. Tell students they may use additional paper if necessary. (You may allow students to do research during class to help prepare them to  write their stories.)

(continued)

Common Core State Standards:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3,  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5,  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3,  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7,  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3,  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2,  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3,  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7,  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.4,  CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.10

Class Sessions (45 minutes): 1 – 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Social Studies

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RH
05/22/2017
Renae H.
US

Westward Expansion

The materials are well planned out making it easy to apply. The students enjoyed the lesson.