This small piece of yellow metal is believed to be the first piece of gold discovered in 1848 at
Grade Range: 6-8
Resource Type(s): Reviewed Websites, Primary Sources, Lessons & Activities
Duration: 90 minutes
Date Posted: 10/13/2016
This inquiry prompts students to investigate the factors, conditions, and conflicts related to westward expansion in the United States before the Civil War. In the inquiry, students wrestle with various economic, geographic, and social ideas as they consider the value of the push westward. The compelling question “Was it destiny to move west?” prompts students to think about the historical justification for white Americans moving west in light of what we now understand as the problems associated with that expansion. In doing so, students explore the economic, geographic, and social conditions as well as ways new technologies contributed to westward expansion. Students also examine conflicts that arose as whites encountered Native peoples as well as the conflicts with Mexico over western lands.
United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)
2: How the industrial revolution, increasing immigration, the rapid expansion of slavery, and the westward movement changed the lives of Americans and led toward regional tensions
Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)
Common Core State Standards (Grades K-12)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 (Text Types and Purposes): Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 (Production and Distribution of Writing): Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge): Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge): Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Common Core State Standards (Grades 6-8)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 (Key Ideas and Details): Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.6 (Craft and Structure): Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.9 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (Grades 6-8)
D2.Geo.5.6-8. (Geography): Analyze the combinations of cultural and environmental characteristics that make places both similar to and different from other places.
D2.Geo.6.6-8. (Geography): Explain how the physical and human characteristics of places and regions are connected to human identities and cultures.
D2.Geo.7.6-8. (Geography): Explain how changes in transportation and communication technology influence the spatial connections among human settlements and affect the diffusion of ideas and cultural practices.
D2.Geo.8.6-8. (Geography): Analyze how relationships between humans and environments extend or contract spatial patterns of settlement and movement.
D2.His.3.6-8. (History): Use questions generated about individuals and groups to analyze why they, and the developments they shaped, are seen as historically significant.
D2.His.12.6-8. (History): Use questions generated about multiple historical sources to identify further areas of inquiry and additional sources.
D2.His.14.6-8. (History): Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past.
D3.3.6-8. (Developing Claims and Using Evidence): Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.
D3.4.6-8. (Developing Claims and Using Evidence): Develop claims and counterclaims while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.
D4.2.6-8. (Communicating and Critiquing Conclusions): Construct explanations using reasoning, correct sequence, examples, and details with relevant information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations.