Westward Movement Inquiry Was the U.S. Destined to Move Westward?

Westward Movement Inquiry Was the U.S. Destined to Move Westward?
Westward Movement Inquiry Was the U.S. Destined to Move Westward?
Westward Movement Inquiry Was the U.S. Destined to Move Westward?
Westward Movement Inquiry Was the U.S. Destined to Move Westward?
Westward Movement Inquiry Was the U.S. Destined to Move Westward?
Westward Movement Inquiry Was the U.S. Destined to Move Westward?
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Common Core Standards
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This activity is part of my full Unit bundle for westward movement and expansion! - Check out the bundle and save! - Westward Expansion Full Unit Bundle

An authentic inquiry for the real world classroom!

Students investigate the events relating to Westward Movement in the United States and discuss whether the United States was actually "Destined" to move westward - through an essay. The students will investigate many voices of this time period through primary sources. This inquiry combines hands on interactive investigations with critical thinking and assessment. My students love this unit!

The following topics are covered within this inquiry:

The Manifest Destiny | The Texas Independence | The Oregon Trail | Mormon Trail Pioneers | The Mexican War | The Oregon Country | The Mexican Cession | The Gold Rush 49ers | The Louisiana Purchase | The Adams-Onis Treaty


This inquiry includes the following lessons, along with planning materials specifically geared towards writing the essay associated with the inquiry.

Westward Expansion Analyzing Point of View and the Manifest Destiny 
Territorial Expansion - A Stations Activity 
Westward Expansion - The 49ers, the Oregon Trail Pioneers and the Mormon Trail Pioneers 
Texas Independence - Primary Source Analysis 
The Mexican War - Analyzing Perspective 

If you purchase the Full Unit Bundle you also get my Westward Movement Game and the Andrew Jackson Inquiry!

If you teach in New York state, this assessment is geared towards preparing students for the new Regents exam by teaching them about assessing the reliability of primary sources and comparing points of view. Students also have to utilize evidence from primary and secondary sources to argue a claim in their essays.

The lesson is linked to NYS Social Studies Standards, but you could easily cut and paste in your own standards for your state.

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.
7.6b.1 - Students will compare and evaluate the ways in which Florida, Texas, and territories from the Mexican Cession were acquired by the United States.
7.6c.5 - Students will examine the ways westward movement affected the lives of women (although African Americans are part of this standard, this topic is discussed in another unit).

This zip file includes a PowerPoint version (fully editable), a Google Slides version, and a PDF version.

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You can find more Social Studies resources, links, and discussion at my blog - peacefieldhistory.com.
Total Pages
76 + slides
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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