School Improvement in Maryland

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 5.0 History

Topic B. Emergence, Expansion and Changes in Nations and Empires

Indicator 3. Evaluate westward movement in the United States before 1877

Objective a. Explain the political, economic, and social factors that motivated people to move west

Have the students watch a video or read a narrative concerning the westward movement, such Little House on the Prairie or As the Wind Rocks the Wagon. After watching the video, have the students make lists of things in the episode that accurately and inaccurately portrayed the westward movement. For example: Where were the people going? Why did they want to go there? What did they leave behind? What hardships did they face? After evaluating the video or reading as a class, have students pretend that they are one of the characters in the narrative and write a journal entry that describes a more accurate experience, with an emphasis on their reasons for moving west and their hopes for their new life.

Resources for Objective 5.B.3.a:
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