An early lesson plan in a Late 19th century Westward Expansion unit, this one covers much content in one-two class sessions through a jigsaw or stations activity.
The lesson has students reading from original text that highlights the stories of four Western groups: cowboys, sodbusters and homesteaders, gold miners, and the Populist Party.
You can follow the suggested lesson plan, including teacher background and exit pass assessment, or use the materials in your own way.
Some main points each reading explains:
Cowboys: What was the occupation like? What is the significance of the cattle industry?
Sodbusters & Homesteaders: What was the Homestead Act? How did farmers endure on the Great Plains?
Miners: How did mining change from panning for gold to huge mining corporations?
Populist Party: How did innovations and the growth of corporations lead to class strife in the West and the birth of a political movement?