In Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, the Once-ler stated that he believed that "Progress is Progress, and Progress must grow." When studying westward expansion, the themes of progress, growth, and expansion come up a lot. Progress is almost always viewed in a positive light, however; there is a cost to progress.
In this activity, students will get to watch the original Dr. Seuss Lorax (free on YouTube). Students will be challenged to engage their prior knowledge of westward expansion by thinking back to how America dealt with obstacles in the way, why the U.S. goes to war with other nations, and the political/economic/social changes associated with change (I use this activity towards the end of my Westward Expansion unit).
This assignment includes pre-viewing questions, video questions, and after-viewing questions (including a fun activity where students match characters and machines from the Lorax to events like the Indian Removal Act, Trail of Tears, Oregon Trail, and the Industrial Revolution)