Ch 3: Manifest Destiny & Westward Expansion Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

Use these handy, well-designed lesson plan outlines to help you enhance your regular instruction on the westward expansion of the United States. These helpful resources include related lessons that you can use to keep your students interested and engaged.

Manifest Destiny & Westward Expansion Lesson Plans - Chapter Summary

The lesson plan outlines in this chapter can become a powerful tool from which you can create comprehensive, interesting and informative American history lessons for your students. You will find suggestions on developing syllabi, introducing topics for class discussion, creating assignments specifically for your Manifest Destiny & Westward Expansion classes, and a great deal more. In these lessons you will be presented with material for lesson plans covering the California Gold Rush, the Trail of Tears, the Oregon Trail, the Mexican-American War and other related topics. You will find lesson plan outlines on the following:

  • Manifest Destiny and The Trail of Tears
  • The Mexican-American War, Wilmot Proviso and Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
  • Migration to the Pacific via the Oregon Trail
  • Election of 1848, discovery of gold in California, and much more!

How It Helps

  • Common core: Helps you develop lessons on Manifest Destiny & Westward Expansion that meet education standards
  • Student engagement: Includes informative, engaging lessons to help you keep your students interested in the westward expansion of the United States and prevent boredom
  • Class discussion questions/topics: Offers ideas and suggestions you can use to encourage class participation and discussion in your Manifest Destiny & Westward Expansion classes
  • Homework or classwork suggestions: Serves as a springboard from which you can design additional assignments of your own based on this period in American history

How It Works

This helpful resource offers teachers lesson plan outlines with relevant tools to make planning Manifest Destiny & Westward Expansion lessons easy.

  • Find lesson plans for specific topics about Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion that you want to cover in class.
  • Formulate your American history class outline using the suggested classroom tools offered in the lesson plans.
  • Share the related Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion lessons for each lesson plan with students in class to make learning fun and engaging.
  • Use related lesson quizzes to ensure your students understand the most important historical concepts from the lessons.
  • Engage your students with relevant activities related to Manifest Destiny & Westward Expansion, discussion questions or other materials found in the lesson plan outline.

49 Lessons in Chapter 3: Manifest Destiny & Westward Expansion Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
President Andrew Jackson and the Age of the Common Man

1. President Andrew Jackson and the Age of the Common Man

In this lesson, we will explore the dirty politics of the 1828 election and the Age of the Common Man in American politics. Discover how this election changed American politics forever.

Jacksonian Democracy Activities & Games

2. Jacksonian Democracy Activities & Games

President Andrew Jackson made many contributions to society and government during his lifetime. This lesson describes activities and games teachers can use to teach Jacksonian Democracy to students.

Manifest Destiny: Definition, Summary and Timeline

3. Manifest Destiny: Definition, Summary and Timeline

Manifest Destiny was a term coined by John O'Sullivan in 1845. It encompassed the idea that the United States was destined to occupy all the land between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The Louisiana Purchase of 1803: Summary, Facts & Importance

4. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803: Summary, Facts & Importance

This lesson discusses the Louisiana Purchase. Learn more about the most important real estate deal in American history and how it influenced the growth of the United States. Then test your knowledge with a quiz.

The Oregon Trail: Westward Migration to the Pacific Ocean

5. The Oregon Trail: Westward Migration to the Pacific Ocean

Throughout the first half of the 19th century, the United States expanded its borders all the way to the Pacific Ocean, fulfilling its manifest destiny. Find out about the reasons people wanted this land, the path that took them there and the politicians who supported it all.

California Gold Rush Lesson Plan

6. California Gold Rush Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan and materials from Study.com, you'll have everything you need to teach your students about the California Gold Rush. Help students learn about its impact on American history with a debate activity.

Election of 1848 and the California Gold Rush

7. Election of 1848 and the California Gold Rush

General Zachary Taylor was elected president in 1848, hoping to see the peaceful addition of land from the Mexican cession. 'Old Rough and Ready' wasn't prepared for the California gold rush.

Texas Revolution Lesson Plan

8. Texas Revolution Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help make sure your students never forget the Alamo, as well as making sure they understand the lead-up to the independence of Texas from Mexico.

The Texas Revolution: Lesson for Kids

9. The Texas Revolution: Lesson for Kids

Explore the reasons that the Mexican government allowed Americans to settle in Tejas in the 1820s, as well as why the Americans living there decided to revolt and create the Republic of Texas in the 1830s.

Davy Crockett Lesson Plan

10. Davy Crockett Lesson Plan

The impact of Davy Crockett may not be as familiar to students of today as it was to those of previous generations. This lesson plan uses a text lesson and activity to teach students of his legacy and historical significance.

Who Was Davy Crockett? - Biography & Death at the Alamo

11. Who Was Davy Crockett? - Biography & Death at the Alamo

Best known today for the Disney movies inspired by his life, the coonskin hats of the 1950s, and many a tall tale, Davy Crockett was a real man. This lesson examines the true story of Davy Crockett and his place in history.

Paul Bunyan Lesson Plan

12. Paul Bunyan Lesson Plan

This lesson plan includes activities, key terms, quizzes, and two lessons that will help students learn more about tall tales, Paul Bunyan, and Babe the blue Ox.

Paul Bunyan: Story & Facts

13. Paul Bunyan: Story & Facts

Giant axes, a blue ox, and skates made of bacon are all a part of the Paul Bunyan story. Bigger than life, this character has been a well-known part of American history for years. Let's get ready to learn all about Paul Bunyan.

What is a Tall Tale? - Definition, Characteristics & Examples

14. What is a Tall Tale? - Definition, Characteristics & Examples

This lesson assists you in learning about all components of tall tales, their characteristics, and why they continue to be a popular genre in literature. A short quiz follows.

Steam Engine Lesson Plan

15. Steam Engine Lesson Plan

Do your students know about the power of steam? This lesson plan uses an engaging and informative text lesson to teach students general facts about steam engines. An activity allows them to design their own steam-powered vehicles.

Steam Engine Lesson for Kids

16. Steam Engine Lesson for Kids

Steam is a form of water that can force large objects to move. In this lesson, learn about the history of the steam engine and how steam engines can be found in different types of machines!

Panic of 1837 Lesson Plan

17. Panic of 1837 Lesson Plan

What was the Panic of 1837? This lesson plan uses a video lesson to explain this to students and an activity demonstrates the realities of an economic crisis.

Panic of 1837: Causes & Summary

18. Panic of 1837: Causes & Summary

The Panic of 1837 was the first depression of America's industrial era. Develop an understanding of this financial crisis and test your knowledge with a short quiz.

Election of 1828 Lesson Plan

19. Election of 1828 Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will provide you with key vocabulary, a quiz, discussion topics, and an activity that will help students appreciate the issues surrounding the 1828 election.

Presidential Election of 1828: Issues, Candidates & Significance

20. Presidential Election of 1828: Issues, Candidates & Significance

The Presidential Election of 1828 generated extreme hostility between Andrew Jackson and President John Quincy Adams. Learn about the issues, the results and the rise of Jacksonian Democracy in the United States.

Klondike Gold Rush Lesson Plan

21. Klondike Gold Rush Lesson Plan

The Klondike Gold Rush gives students a platform to learn about historical figures, and challenges people faced during this time. This lesson allows students to explore the Gold Rush from the perspective of a person living in that time period.

Klondike Gold Rush: Facts, History & Timeline

22. Klondike Gold Rush: Facts, History & Timeline

The Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1899 was the largest gold strike in Canadian history. It drew in over 100,000 miners and the Yukon River and Dawson City became synonymous with the strike.

The Donner Party Lesson Plan

23. The Donner Party Lesson Plan

The story of the Donner Party is filled with mystery and intrigue. This lesson plan distinguishes fact from fiction with two informative text lessons and an activity to map the actual route of the group of pioneers.

The Donner Party: Facts & Summary

24. The Donner Party: Facts & Summary

One of the most tragic episodes in the history of the American frontier involves the Donner Party and their ill-fated journey west to California. In this lesson, you'll learn about the pioneers who joined the Donner Party, the disaster they faced and the desperate steps they took to survive.

Westward Expansion Lesson Plan

25. Westward Expansion Lesson Plan

Go west, young man! We've all heard it, but what does it mean? A video lesson explains and an activity allows students to document the experience of western pioneers. Extra activities and related lessons are included as well.

Westward Expansion: The Homestead Act of 1862 & the Frontier Thesis

26. Westward Expansion: The Homestead Act of 1862 & the Frontier Thesis

Between the mid-1800s and the turn of the 20th century, the American frontier opened and closed abruptly. What factors influenced this land rush, and how did it help shape American history?

Debating Westward Expansion Lesson Plan

27. Debating Westward Expansion Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan, your students will have the opportunity to build an argument using primary and secondary sources. They will then present and defend their argument in a standard debate format.

Homestead Act Lesson Plan

28. Homestead Act Lesson Plan

If you are discussing westward settlement, introduce your students to the Homestead Act with this lesson plan. Students will read an informative text lesson, participate in discussion questions, and engage in a culminating research/presentation activity.

What is the Homestead Act of 1862? - Definition & Summary

29. What is the Homestead Act of 1862? - Definition & Summary

Define the Homestead Act of 1862, learn about its historical origins, and understand the challenges individuals faced as they established property claims on the Great Plains during the 19th century.

Wild West Lesson Plan for Elementary School

30. Wild West Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Teach your students what was wild about early western America with this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson explaining the Wild West, interact with content, and apply learning to an activity.

Wild West Facts: Lesson for Kids

31. Wild West Facts: Lesson for Kids

Cowboys, outlaws and prospectors were all a part of the colorful Wild West! In this lesson, explore why the Wild West was such an interesting part of America's past. Discover how it began and why it ended so quickly.

Manifest Destiny Activities

32. Manifest Destiny Activities

If your class studying westward expansion, then it's important for your students to understand the concept of Manifest Destiny. Use these activities to help students define and identify the impact of Manifest Destiny.

Manifest Destiny Activities for Kids

33. Manifest Destiny Activities for Kids

Manifest Destiny was a popular mindset that colonists should expand westward. These activities will help enhance your students' understanding of this specific time period in history.

California Gold Rush Activities & Games for Kids

34. California Gold Rush Activities & Games for Kids

The California Gold Rush was a time of adventure, opportunity, and danger in American history. Use these activities and games to introduce the California Gold Rush to younger students.

Whitman Massacre Lesson Plan

35. Whitman Massacre Lesson Plan

This lesson plan is a tool for helping students learn about the Whitman Massacre. Students will be able to answer questions using textual evidence to support their answers and summarize the events to led up to the attack using graphics.

Whitman Massacre: Timeline & Facts

36. Whitman Massacre: Timeline & Facts

US settlement in the west was steeped in conflict between white settlers and the natives. One of the most infamous attacks occurred in 1847 among a group of missionaries and the Cayuse tribe. This lesson examines that event, as well as its causes and effects.

Gold Rush Lesson Plan for Elementary School

37. Gold Rush Lesson Plan for Elementary School

What was the Gold Rush? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to explain key facts about the California Gold Rush to students. An activity gives each student the chance to pan for gold... well, almost!

The American West Lesson Plan

38. The American West Lesson Plan

These days, millions of people live in the western United States. But, do you know how and why people originally settled there? In this lesson, we will look at the settlement of the American West.

The American West: History & Settlement

39. The American West: History & Settlement

The settlement of the American West began in the 1840s and ended in the early 1900s. Several factors influenced this settlement, including the use of the Oregon Trail and the doctrine of Manifest Destiny.

Covered Wagon Lesson Plan

40. Covered Wagon Lesson Plan

Students will learn about the two kinds of covered wagons that were important in America's history. The students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge to a game and to a craft activity.

Covered Wagons: Definition, Types & Facts

41. Covered Wagons: Definition, Types & Facts

Two main types of covered wagons were used to shape and transform early America. In this lesson, learn about the role of covered AND Conestoga wagons, their diverse purposes and their unique designs.

Andrew Jackson vs. the Whig Party Lesson Plan

42. Andrew Jackson vs. the Whig Party Lesson Plan

Teach students about Andrew Jackson's administration and his opposition to the Whig Party with this lesson plan. Students will watch a video lesson, debate key ideas, compare to modern-day presidents and take a quiz.

Andrew Jackson Lesson Plan

43. Andrew Jackson Lesson Plan

Use this Study.com lesson plan to teach students about the campaigns of Andrew Jackson. Explore the concept of the common man and dirty politics. Finish up with a high-level thinking activity.

Louisiana Purchase Lesson Plan

44. Louisiana Purchase Lesson Plan

Unlike Lewis and Clark, you'll know exactly what you're getting your students into with this lesson plan on the Louisiana Purchase. The plan reinforces the geography of the purchase as well as the politics of its execution.

Manifest Destiny Lesson Plan

45. Manifest Destiny Lesson Plan

Use this Study.com lesson plan to introduce the concept of manifest destiny. Read about the background, learn about key figures, and examine opinions on the topic. Follow up with a writing and dramatic activity.

Manifest Destiny Project Ideas

46. Manifest Destiny Project Ideas

Manifest Destiny is an ideology with very real implications in American history. These projects can help your students gain a greater appreciation of what this meant and how it impacted different people.

Oregon Trail Lesson Plan

47. Oregon Trail Lesson Plan

Chart a new path with your instruction on the Oregon Trail with the help of a Study.com video lesson. The included in-class mapping activity takes students on the journeys of the earliest settlers.

Texas Annexation Lesson Plan

48. Texas Annexation Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan, your students will learn about the annexation of Texas and the debate surrounding it. They will use primary sources to form delegations of Texans and argue for Texan annexation.

Westward Expansion Project Ideas

49. Westward Expansion Project Ideas

Use these project ideas for a unit on the Westward Expansion and allow students the opportunity to practice research skills and delve more deeply into the experience of Native Americans and European Americans moving west.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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