Manifest Destiny Scavenger Hunt / Document Analysis Lesson

Manifest Destiny Scavenger Hunt / Document Analysis Lesson
Manifest Destiny Scavenger Hunt / Document Analysis Lesson
Manifest Destiny Scavenger Hunt / Document Analysis Lesson
Manifest Destiny Scavenger Hunt / Document Analysis Lesson
Manifest Destiny Scavenger Hunt / Document Analysis Lesson
Manifest Destiny Scavenger Hunt / Document Analysis Lesson
Manifest Destiny Scavenger Hunt / Document Analysis Lesson
Manifest Destiny Scavenger Hunt / Document Analysis Lesson
Grade Levels
Product Rating
1 Rating
File Type

PDF (Acrobat) Document File

Be sure that you have an application to open this file type before downloading and/or purchasing.

10 MB|18 pages
Product Description
Unit/Class: Social Studies (American History)

Unit Essential Question: In what ways can change/progress/growth be positive and negative?

Today’s Aim: How did people living in the United States in the 1800’s feel about Manifest Destiny?

*Lesson Plan and all worksheets included. (Powerpoint included in a separate listing - for free - sorry, I am unsure how to include it with this listing.)

I. Objectives:

1) Students will be able to analyze primary and secondary sources relating to Manifest Destiny in order to determine how different social, ethnic and cultural groups perceived Manifest Destiny in 19th century America [Analysis].

2) Students will be able to evaluate whether Manifest Destiny was positive or negative for people living in the United States in the 19th century. [Evaluation]

III. Content Standards:

7.6 WESTWARD EXPANSION: Driven by political and economic motives, the United States expanded its physical boundaries to the Pacific Ocean between 1800 and 1860. This settlement displaced Native Americans as the frontier was pushed westward. (Standards: 1, 3; Themes: ID, MOV, TCC, GEO)

7.6a Some Native Americans who aligned with the British during the American Revolution lost land and were forced to move.

7.6b Conflict and compromise with foreign nations occurred regarding the physical expansion of the United States during the 19th century. American values and beliefs, such as Manifest Destiny and the need for resources, increased westward expansion and settlement.

7.6c Westward expansion provided opportunities for some groups while harming others.

IV. Common Core Standards:

Key Ideas and Details:

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Craft and Structure:

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:

By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

Class Activities

10 min Total • A) Do Now/Introductory activity - Worksheet

Students will work independently on the do now activity worksheet. These will first examine the definitions of “manifest” and “destiny” and then read a short passage about Manifest Destiny. They will then answer the following questions: 1) What do you think is your destiny in life and 2) According to the passage above, what did many Americans in the 1800’s believe was the “destiny” of the USA?

The teacher will then initiate a short class discussion about what is Manifest Destiny and how is similar to/different from the student’s individual destinies.

10 min • B) Class Discussion: Guided Analysis of “American Progress” Painting

Each student will be provided with a copy of John Gast’s painting “American Progress” in their Manifest Destiny lesson packet (page 2). Students will follow the verbal prompts of the teacher to complete different activities designed to help them analyze this painting. For example, students will be instructed to circle all forms of transportation they can see American settlers using in the painting. Following this activity, the teacher will ask the students how this painting shows Manifest Destiny (especially a white American view of this concept).

10 min • C) Partner-Work: Analysis of primary and secondary sources

*Only include one document in each student's packet.

Students will be assigned to work with the person directly next to them to analyze primary and secondary sources related to Manifest Destiny. Each student will be assigned one document that reflects the point of view of one person or one social/ethnic group (i.e. Native Americans, Exodusters, Horace Greeley, John O’Sullivan, and a white American Homesteader). One person in the pair will have a person who supports Manifest Destiny and the other person will have someone who opposes it. (These documents are on page 4 in their Manifest Destiny packet.) The groups will fill in a graphic organizer – related to these documents – on page 4. (Each pair will work together, however, each student will independently fill in the chart in their own packet.) The questions in this graphic organizer are as follows: 1) who is the person or group (each document has an individual person in addition to the social/ethnic group he or she belongs to), 2) does the person/group support or oppose Manifest Destiny and 3) why do they support or oppose Manifest Destiny (students will provide at least one piece of evidence from each document to support this claim).

*For general education or inclusion classes, it works well to have the students work independently on this assignment (i.e. only analyzing one document and then having a classroom discussion).

5 min • D) Class Discussion: How did people living in the United States in the 1800’s feel about Manifest Destiny?

The teacher will lead a class discussion (based on the previous partner activity) about who supported and who opposed Manifest Destiny and the reasons for their support or opposition. Students will take notes using the chart (labelled D) on page 3 of their packet.

5 min • E) Exit Ticket: Speech Bubbles activity

Students will independently fill in 2 speech bubbles of figures from “American Progress” (i.e. the white settlers and the Native Americans). Their speech should be related to how these people likely felt about Manifest Destiny and western expansion. The students will also answer the question: do you think Manifest Destiny was a good or bad idea? They must answer fully and write in complete sentences. This will be collected for assessment.

Total Pages
18 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
40 minutes
Report this Resource
Digital Download
More products from In Praise of History
Product Thumbnail
Product Thumbnail
Product Thumbnail
Product Thumbnail
Product Thumbnail
Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials.

Learn More

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up