The activities in this package can be implemented in whole group during a Westward Expansion unit, in small group social studies stations, or during your literacy block in literacy stations. These project-based social studies stations will have your students researching people during the time period to create posters, reading about events of the expansion to complete graphic organizers for social studies notebooks, reenacting events from the time period, practicing 20 key vocabulary terms, playing vocabulary games (Fiddle Strips!), and researching frontier life to create a fact file.
I have set up the activities into 5 social studies stations, but they can be implemented in whole groups or small groups without stations.These activities are interactive and will keep students engaged throughout your Westward Expansion unit!
1. Events of the Past: Provide books and Internet documents with copies of graphic organizers. Organizers can also be used as note-takers in your whole group instruction.
Topics For Organizers:
-California Gold Rush
-First Transcontinental Railroad—map and describe
-Homestead Act and Land Rush
-The Louisiana Purchase—map and describe
-The Oregon Trail—map and describe
-The Pony Express—map and describe
2. Remember the Past: 20 terms and definitions are included in chart form for students to practice and glue in their notebooks. All 20 terms are included in a Westward Expansion Fiddle Strips! game. Prepare the game according to instructions for vocabulary fun!
3. Recreate the Past: Students will choose an event and prepare a presentation to reenact the event.
4. People of the Past: 5 posters are included: Thomas Jefferson, James K. Polk, Daniel Boone, Sacagawea, and Lewis and Clark. These pages could also be completed and bound in a class book for student reference.
5. Research the Past: Students will record their research in A Frontier Life Fact File. These make great resources to keep in the classroom for future reference!
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