Westward Expansion Unit Activities | Manifest Destiny Unit Activities Bundle

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History with Mr E
Grade Levels
5th - 8th, Homeschool
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195 pages
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History with Mr E
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This lesson brings together all of the elements that are needed to be an active aprticipant within the learning environment.
Student favorite - the gold rush. With social distancing students were still able to get excited about gold.
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This Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny Activities Bundle includes 13 resources to teach American Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny! This Westward Expansion Unit can be used in a traditional or Google 1:1 setting which is ideal for distance learning.

The Westward Expansion Unit contains the following items:

✔ 1.) Manifest Destiny - An Introduction! Students use six total primary sources (from John O'Sullivan, Walt Whitman, Lewis Henry Morgan) and record notes from a PowerPoint to understand what Manifest Destiny was all about.

✔ 2.) The Mexican-American War Bundle: 4 Engaging Resources to Teach The Mexican War!

✔ 2a.) Factors that Encouraged Texan Independence! Guided Notes to setup the Texan Revolution This resource guides students through four factors that encouraged Texas to fight for independence and become the Texan Republic. This is a great introduction to the Mexican-American War as it sets the groundwork for why, then, Texas became the 28th state to the United States.

✔ 2b.) Texas Independence and The Mexican-American War: Student Journalists Tell All! Students take on the role of journalists as they read text and complete graphic organizers on the Texan war for independence, then the subsequence Mexican-American War.

✔ 2c.) Causes of the Mexican-American War: A Mini DBQ! Students interpret and create! In this mini-DBQ, students interpret primary source evidence to understand the main causes of the Mexican-American War.

✔ 2d.) The Mexican-American War: Students evaluate excerpts to recognize bias! Introduce bias and perspective in a simple way with this textbook analysis on the Mexican-American War!

✔ 3.) The 1849 California Gold Rush: A Student Exploration! This best-seller engages students on the California Gold Rush through a station-based approach! Students learn about the 49ers, life out west, equality in Gold Country, and the growth of San Francisco!

✔ 4.) The Oregon Trail: Short Story Assignment Students analyze key details on the Oregon Trail and major landmarks they would visit along the way - then students brainstorm and create a story!

✔ 5.) Oregon Fever! What were the reasons for the fever? A Close Reading Assignment!

✔ 6.) On the Trail with Brigham Young! Students read an engaging source of a fictional traveler as they complete graphic organizer about the Mormon experience in traveling west.

✔ 7.) The Two Sides to Manifest Destiny! Students learn both sides of the Manifest Destiny debate from the 1840s and record their thoughts before completing a final prompt.

✔ 8.) ✶ BEST SELLER ✶ The Donner Party: A CSI Investigation! What Happened To The Donner Party? This engaging and gripping CSI investigation places students with the Donner Party as they investigate their journals in their miserable trip west. Highly engaging!

✔ 9.) The Age of Jackson and Westward Expansion "I Can" Statements and Learning Goal Log! Use this set of "I Can" statements and the included Learning Goal Log to keep students accountable in this unit!

✔ 10.) The Age of Jackson and Manifest Destiny Test! Use this assessment, that covers both the Age of Jackson and Westward Expansion, to evaluate student learning on both units!

Each resource in the Westward Expansion Unit Bundle includes a paper, in-class version and a 1:1 Google compatible version to be used in conjunction with Google Classroom. Just follow the included instructions for how to access the Google version, then share the resource through Google or assign via Google Classroom. This will allow students to type directly into the document!


While not included, these add-ons are great supplements to this unit:

Westward Expansion & Manifest Destiny Guided PowerPoint!

Westward Expansion Escape Room: Crack Morse Code to Solve Puzzle!

Westward Expansion Interactive Notebook! Active Learning on Manifest Destiny!

Westward Expansion Primary Sources! Differentiated Warmups for Manifest Destiny!

Westward Expansion Trivia Challenge! Students Play Trivia to Review Manifest Destiny!

Westward Expansion DIGITAL Interactive Notebook


The Westward Expansion & Manifest Destiny Unit is bundled with the much larger American History Super Unit Version 2/4, located here:

The American History Super Unit: Version 2/4!

Buy Super Unit Version 3 and receive and additional 10% off!


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Total Pages
195 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 months
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
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.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).


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