This 5 week unit plan focuses on westward expansion in the years 1803. Students learn about: Manifest Destiny, the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Annexation of Texas, the California Gold Rush, and the Mexican-American War.
The unit is framed around two essential questions:
1) How did America's expanding territory create tensions that contributed to the civil war?
2) What role did territorial expansion and the frontier play in the American myth- that ours is a country where anything is possible?
This unit includes 9 lessons, many of them based around primary sources (photographs, letters, maps, paintings). Each lesson includes web links to the primary sources.
The unit also includes directions for a culminating project in which students assume the character of an historic person, engaged in one of the major events of westward expansion.