Students will receive /download typescripts of letters and copies of select originals. The instructor will walk them through the letters, discussing highlighted passages, exploring the nature of westward expansion, and examining life on the 19th century American frontier.
1. Students will be able to analyze and interpret primary source materials.
2. Students will be able to distinguish between primary and secondary sources.
3. Students will be able to use maps to identify location and estimate distances.
4. Students will understand the factors that led people to decide to move west in the
mid-nineteenth century, specifically push/pull factors.
5. Students will understand some of the hardships that people faced as they moved west in the mid-nineteenth century.
6. Students will understand the role ordinary Americans played in the making of American history.
National Curriculum Standards:
Historical Thinking Standards:
Standard 2: Historical Comprehension
Standard 3: Historical Analysis & Interpretation
Historical Content Standards:
Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861):
Standard 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.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.3 : Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.4 : Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.6 : Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.1 : Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.3 : Describe the relationships between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.7 : Use information gained from illustrations and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (eg, where, when, why, and how key events occur).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.9 : Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.3 : Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text , including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.4 : Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.6 : Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and information provided.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.3 : Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.4 : Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.6 : Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.7 : Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.1 : Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.2 : Determine the central ideas or information of primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.3 : Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.7 : Integrate visual information (eg., photographs or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.9 : Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 : Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.3 : Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.9 : Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.4 : Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.7 : Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media in order to address a question or solve a problem.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.9 : Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
Virginia Standards of Learning:
STANDARD USI.8The student will demonstrate knowledge of westward expansion and reform in
America from 1801 to 1861 by
b) identifying the geographic and economic factors that influenced the westward
movement of settlers.
c) describing the impact of inventions, including the cotton gin, the reaper, the
steamboat, and the steam locomotive, on life in America.
STANDARD VUS.6bThe student will demonstrate knowledge of the major events from the last decade of
the eighteenth century through the first half of the nineteenth century by
b) identifying the economic, political, and geographic factors that led to territorial
expansion and its impact on the American Indians.