Ncss standards: Activities for Manifest Destiny



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NCSS Standards: Activities for Manifest Destiny

  • Gregory E. Tyree
  • ED 639

NCSS Standards

  • Manifest Destiny
  • Eighth Grade
  • American History

I. Culture

  • Read excerpt from the website http://www.calgoldrush.com/lb_sets/03women.html. Discuss the impact that this male dominated society had on the few women living their. Students write a reflective paragraph for homework on their opinions.
  • Discuss the mountain men and their use of sign language to communicate with Native Americans. Demonstrate simple sign language commands with students by getting them to stand, cross the room, and perform a simple action such as closing the door. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/HNS/Mtmen/explore.html

I. Culture

  • Class lecture identifying the Mormon Trail and their reasons for moving westward. Students discuss the treatment of the Mormons and why they were perceived differently. http://www.americanwest.com/trails/pages/mormtrl.htm
  • PowerPoint lecture on the culrure of the Mexican population living their as they entered statehood. Students watch an excerpt of the Mask of Zorro to get excited about the topic and a feel for the place and time. Guided notes are provided to gain an insight to the culture of the Mexican American population represented in the film. http://www.californios.us/ca/
  • Students are given a PowerPoint lecture on Chinese immigration to California. They are then instructed to find a website explaining the prejudice felt for these people and why. Reflective paragraph written for homework over the cultural differences perceived by the student after the lesson. http://nhs.needham.k12.ma.us/cur/kane98/kane_p3_immig/China/china.html

II Time, Continuity, and Change

  • 1. Read excerpts from John O’sullivan’s writing and write an essay on how this phrase identifies the mentality of westward expansion. http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/osulliva.htm
  • Oregon Trail simulation. Construct a game based on the Oregon Trail video game that addresses the hardships faced on the trail westward. Students decide the outcomes of the choices presented with the game by popular vote. http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/Oregontrail.html
  • Watch and discuss “Gold Rush” from the History Channel’s series 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America. Lead a classroom discussion on the events of the Gold Rush and consider its impact on the California Territory. http://www.dvdmoviecentral.com/ReviewsText/10_days.htm

II Time, Continuity, and Change

  • Oregon Trail simulation. Construct a game based on the Oregon Trail video game that addresses the hardships faced on the trail westward. Students decide the outcomes of the choices presented with the game by popular vote. http://www.isu.edu/%7Etrinmich/Allabout.html
  • PowerPoint lecture regarding the concept of manifest destiny. Students create a brochure or poster advertising for land in the west encouraging a move to the west. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_Destiny

III. People, Places, and Environments

  • Break class into small groups that will each research the path and geography of each trail westward. Students will create a group presentation in PowerPoint to present to the class. http://edtech.kennesaw.edu/web/westward.html
  • PowerPoint lectures over all the different territories of westward expansion 1820-1860. Each student will pick a territory and describe its climate and terrain as well as the cultures of the people living their before expansion and the culture of the people who moved in after. http://www.sonofthesouth.net/texas/westward-expansion.htm

III. People, Places, and Environments

  • Students will identify the states, or parts of states, included with each territorial expansion. www.animatedatlas.com
  • Describe the terrain of California in the dry southern region. Explain why this was not a desirable region for occupation before the Gold Rush of 1849. http://www.netstate.com/states/geography/ca_geography.htm
  • Students choose either the New Mexico or California territories. Then they will map and describe the cultural geography of the region. www.opr.ca.gov/programs/training/California_Native_American_History.ppt

IV. Individual Development and Identity

  • PowerPoint lecture concerning the importance of the Mountain Men and their lives.
    • Class discusses the psychology of living alone in the wilderness and creates a list of personality traits necessary for this kind of life.
    • http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/HNS/Mtmen/home.html
  • Watch the video END OF THE TRAIL: Project XX. Class discusses the personality type needed to move their entire life westward and writes a reflective paragraph on whether they could make that decision for themselves. http://homepage.mac.com/mhdoyle/US_History/chapter_13.htm

IV. Individual Development and Identity

  • Watch the video American Experience, the Donner Party. Discuss the psychological processes involved in hunger and survival. Class votes whether they felt like they could cannibalize if put into that situation. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/donner/
  • Students watch the video “Gold Rush” from the History Channel’s series 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America. Lecture on life in mining towns and the new metropolis of San Francisco. Class discusses the influence of peers and the cultural environment on decisions and behaviors. http://www.zpub.com/sf/history/sfh2.html
  • PowerPoint lecture on prostitution in mining towns of California. Students break into groups and write a short paper discussing the choices for women at the time. Written assignment must detail Attitudes and Actions, Group Influence, and Conformity and Obedience. http://www.soiled-doves.com/

V. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions

  • PowerPoint lecture on the events of the Alamo.
    • Students compose an essay defining the Texans as a subculture in Mexico. Define the differences with the Tejanos in the region. http://www.thealamo.org/battle.html
  • PowerPoint lecture on the Gold Rush of 1849. Students identify the impact on families in the Gold Rush.
    • Identify the functionalist perspective, consider the impact of gender inequalities, and define the functionalist perspective in a written homework assignment. http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/californiagoldrush.htm
  • PowerPoint detailing the movement of the Mormons westward to Utah.
    • Students Write a one-page paper discussing the Mormons as a subculture and using the Conflict Theory Perspective explaining the reasons why the traveled west.
    • http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/mopi/hrs7.htm

V. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions

  • Students break into groups and devise their path westward. In the process, roles will be created and defined. Class discussion will follow considering the type of leadership (instrumental vs. expressive) needed in the wagon train. http://www.lonehand.com/pioneers.htm
  • Students will pick one ethnic group from California during the Gold Rush. They research the group for their characteristics then write a paper describing the group. The paper will consider the phrase “Melting Pot.” Does this environment support that concept? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melting_pot

VI. Power, Authority, and Governance

  • Class discussion of slave codes and discriminatory practices in the west including the Missouri Compromise.
    • Reflective writing due by the end of class on the Missouri Compromise and Slave codes. Students must consider the legality of these laws. http://www.sonofthesouth.net/slavery/missouri-compromise.htm
  • PowerPoint lecture on the Know-Nothing Party.
    • Students write their Party Platform for homework. http://ap.grolier.com/article?assetid=0233110-00&templatename=/art
  • Show political cartoons from the election of 1844 and lead a class discussion identifying the important elements.
    • Students work in pairs to create their own political Cartoons for homework. http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/reform/jb_reform_polk_2_e.html

VI. Power, Authority, and Governance

  • Class lecture n the politics leading to the election of 1844. Break the class into two groups and have them research the Democratic and Whig views on Manifest Destiny.
    • Class then elects leaders for each viewpoint and has a debate on the topic of Manifest Destiny. http://www.historycentral.net/elections/1844.html
  • Students break into groups and identify the states added to the union until the Gadsden Purchase.
    • Students must write a paragraph discussing the balance of Power in Congress and why it is important. www.animatedatlas.com

VII. Production, Distribution, and Consumption

  • Discuss the role of merchants such as William Becknell in the opening of the Santa Fe Trail to trade. Read some of his letters. http://www.xmission.com/~drudy/mtman/html/becknell.html
  • Write an essay which compares and contrast those who really made money in the Gold Rush; i.e., Land Speculators, Merchants, and Prostitutes. “Gold Rush” from the History Channel’s series 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America. http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/teacher.html
  • Class lecture on Samuel Morse and the Telegraph. Students discuss the impact of technology and communication on business and industry. Write a reflective paragraph on the relevant impacts discussed in class. http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bltelegraph.htm

VII. Production, Distribution, and Consumption

  • Students break into groups as miners and businessmen. They then work through a guided role-play to see who makes the real money in the Gold Rush of 1849. http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/teacher.html
  • Explain the Cotton Gin and Eli Whitney to the class in lecture. In class writing assignment that addresses the issues of:
    • Production Possibility Curve
    • Impact on Labor Costs
    • Level of output
  • http://www.eliwhitney.org/cotton.htm

VIII. Science, Technology, and Society

  • Students locate an internet website that discusses the Transcontinental Railroad.
    • In a paragraph students identify three impacts on society by the building of the railroad. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/tcrr/
  • PowerPoint lecture on interchangeable parts followed by a guided discussion that identifies the impact on economy, and the life of the farmer. http://www.ryerson.ca/~dgrimsha/courses/cps841/Interchangeable.html
  • PowerPoint lecture on John Deere and his steel plow invention.
    • Farm simulation with candy as the harvest showing the impact on harvest yields. http://www.kyrene.org/schools/brisas/sunda/inventor/deere/index.html

VIII. Science, Technology, and Society

  • Students read the textbook about the telegraph and Samuel Morse.
    • Students break into groups and compose simple messages. Each group identifies an operator who taps out the messages in Morse Code. The others try to guess the message. http://morsecode.scphillips.com/jtranslator.html
  • PowerPoint lecture on Fulton and the Steamboat.
    • Students report to the Media Center and research for primary sources depicting steamboat tragedies. The next class opens with sharing about what they find. www.mormonhistoricsitesfoundation.org/articles/steamboat.pdf

IX. Global Connections

  • Students work in small groups to research the Potato Famine in Ireland. Then the class discusses what it was and its causes. Following a PowerPoint lesson is given discussing the impact on Immigration into the United States following the Famine. http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/index.html
  • PowerPoint lesson discussing the Chinese Immigrants and the prejudices they faced during their movement into California and while they built the railroads.
    • Students research individually to find three examples of jobs performed by Chinese Immigrants. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/learn/features/timeline/riseind/chinimms/chinimms.html
  • Class breaks into three groups: Spain, Mexico, and Texas. Role Play the Mexican independence of 1821 and the events that led to the Alamo and Texan independence. Students write a reflective paragraph as to the validity of Texan claims for independence. http://www.tamu.edu/ccbn/dewitt/mexicanrev.htm

IX. Global Connections

  • PowerPoint lecture on the boundary decisions between British Canada and the United States.
    • Students create a map showing the boundary and identifying changes such as the British Cession of 1818 and the disputed boundary of Oregon. http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/pdf/territory/pagetacq3.pdf
  • PowerPoint lesson considering the claims of Russia, Spain, Britain, and American claims in Oregon.
    • Pop Quiz after to instill key points into memory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Country

X. Civic Ideals and Practices

  • Have students identify characteristics of individuals in today’s society. Create the list on the board, then show a list of the attitudes of the people between 1820-1860 who traveled west. Class discussion comparing the two lists. http://www.lonehand.com/pioneers.htm
  • PowerPoint lesson on the Republic of Texas.
    • Class discussion on the similarities to U.S.A. government. Students write a paragraph for homework identifying the similarities and the differences. http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/treasures/republic/index.html

X. Civic Ideals and Practices

  • Students research for a website about the Northwest Ordinance. They will then answer the essay question, “What tare the two legal impacts from the Northwest Ordinance that impact our lives today in Ohio?” http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/ordinance/
  • PowerPoint Lecture on the Trail of Tears.
    • Class debate on whether the rights in the Constitution are natural or a privilege of citizenship. Students then write about the Trail of Tears and identify whether they should have been protected by the Constitution. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h1567.html
  • Students search for the Flag of California and identify the symbolism involved. Then they reproduce the flag with a hand-drawn reproduction. http://www.crwflags.com/FOTW/FLAGS/us-ca.html


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