Westward Expansion Unit


Looking for engaging activities and lesson plans for teaching westward expansion? This Westward Expansion Unit comes with detailed lesson plans, hands-on activities, worksheets, passages and questions, and much more! Save time planning and your students will have fun completing the hands-on activities.

See the video preview in the description below to take a closer look at this unit!

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Westward Expansion Unit

Westward Expansion Unit is a hands-on unit that combines history and language arts skills! Everything you need to teach a unit about the growth of the United States in the 1800s can be found here!

What Will I Find in This Unit?

This Westward Expansion Unit includes 7 detailed lesson plans. All lessons are hands-on and incorporate literacy skills. Students will investigate–

  • The Louisiana Purchase
  • The Lewis and Clark expedition
  • The dates when states were added to the Union
  • The history of Texas
  • The Oregon Trail
  • The California gold rush
  • The Industrial Revolution
  • Voting rights (15th and 19th Constitutional amendments)

This Westward Expansion Unit also comes with:

  • 15 Worksheets
  • 9 Close Reading Passages & Comprehension Questions: All of the passages and questions can also be shared with students digitally and completed using Google Slides.
  • 3 Art Projects
  • 1 Oregon Trail Board Game
  • 1 Quiz
  • 1 Test
  • 1 Interactive Classroom Timeline
  • 1 Timeline of Suggested Activities: Provides a timeline for using the activities included within this unit and provides links to websites featuring videos about concepts being taught.
  • Answer Keys included throughout

Students will become fully immersed in westward expansion as they play games, complete hands-on projects, and research past events!

Are Digital Resources Included?

All of the passages and comprehension questions, most worksheets, the quiz, and the test within this Westward Expansion Unit are also included in a digital format and can be shared with students using your Google Drive.

When you purchase this product, you will be given access to a link that will allow you to open the file in Google Slides. You’ll then share that file with your students. The slides can be printed and adapted for students who prefer to answer the questions by hand. You can also view and print a student’s completed version of the slides. Video tutorials are also included to help you share interactive Google Slides with your students.

What Standards Are Covered?

While this Westward Expansion Unit is specifically aligned with Virginia U.S. History SOL USI.8, it also closely matches most U.S. History standards related to teaching westward expansion.

What are other buyers saying?

  • “I absolutely love your work thank you so much!!”
  • “I love these materials! They were a great, quick but thorough, overview of the subject matter with useful activities. I left the Oregon Trail game for a sub one day and she reported the students loved it! They wanted to play it again with me the following day. I also used the Lewis & Clark journal activity and found it very interesting and engaging for the students. We used a few web sites for research about various plants and animals along the trail and L&C own discoveries. ” (Brandy M.)
  • “I love the unit, and your hard work is evident.” (Jeannie F.)
  • “Oh, Boy! This is the best resource I’ve come across for Social Studies. It has been a lifesaver and time saver. My students love all the activities.” (Sonya R.)
  • “Thank you for making teaching history engaging and manageable!” (Renee U.)
  • “It was nice to have the information presented that reinforced the history standards and provided reading practice too.” (Holly W.)

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Other Information:

My Oregon Trail Board Game is included in this unit!

©Meghan Vestal, Vestal’s 21st Century Classroom LLC. All rights reserved. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for teachers, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Teachers may NOT upload the product to school/district servers, or to any website, or share digital or print copies. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). All sales are final.


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