Students learn about nineteenth-century developments in transportation that led to westward expansion and increased economic development in the United States. Then, students select one mode of transportation and create a timeline of the key events in its development.
The Oregon Trail
Students learn about the dangers and challenges of traveling on the Oregon Trail in the 1800s and why settlers, fur traders, and missionaries were willing to make the difficult journey. Then, students will write a journal entry from the point of view of someone traveling on the Oregon Trail.
The State of Texas and Mexico
Students learn about Texas declaring independence from Mexico and the establishment of the Lone Star Republic of Texas. Then, they learn about how Texas became part of the United States. Finally, students will compare the constitutions of the Republic of Texas with the United States.
Missions and Ranches
In this experience, students learn about the history of missions in the southwestern area of the country. Then, students learn about the ranchos period, which followed the mission era. Finally, students prepare a presentation describing what life was like for the Spanish and Native American living on a mission.
Students learn about the concept of Manifest Destiny and how it related to America's westward expansion in the mid-1800s. Then, they learn about the Mormon exodus to Utah. Finally, students evaluate the painting "American Progress" and discuss how it depicts the idea of Manifest Destiny.
The U.S.-Mexican War
Students learn about the causes and effects of the U.S.-Mexican War including information about how Abraham Lincoln felt about the War. Then, they complete a map identifying the Republic of Texas, disputed territories, and the land gained as a result of the War.
The California Gold Rush
Students learn about the California Gold Rush and its impact on the environment, economy, population, and development of California. Then, students complete a map showing the areas of California impacted by the Gold Rush.