WESTWARD MOVEMENT DIARY
Title: Westward movement diary
Social Studies/Writing Lesson Plan
Content Area: Social Studies – Writing
Duration: 6 1hour classes
Standards and Benchmarks:
COLORADO HISTORY STANDARD 1:
Students understand the chronological organization of history and know how to organize events and people into major eras to identify and explain historical relationships
1.1 Student will be able to describe significant events and people which form the foundation of United States history in the chronological context of the history of the Americas and the world.
1.3 Students use chronology to examine and explain historical relationships.
COLORADO WRITING STANDARD 2:
Students write and speak for a variety of purposes and audiences.
Student will write in the content area, using the technical vocabulary of the subject accurately.
Students will show knowledge of Westward Movement and use critical thinking skills to incorporate information and ideas that they have learned into diary entries.
Resources and Materials:
Book: If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon by Ellen Levine
Other books that deal with the Westward Movement, Louisiana Purchase, Treaty of Paris, etc.
Have books available at a variety of levels so that every child has access to information.
Read “If You Traveled in a Covered Wagon” aloud so that all students get full understanding of topic.
Create a small group of students who may need assistance planning what to write as other students work independently on activity.
Preparing Students for the Lesson:
Explain to students that you will be spending the week discussing the Westward Movement.
They will be expected to listen, take notes and discuss each topic as the class moves through it.
Teaching the Lesson (Lesson Sequence/
Begin by reading the beginning of “If you Traveled West in a Covered Wagon” and discussing hardships faced by pioneers traveling across the country.
Introduce the Treaty of Paris and territory gained. Then explain writing project. Students will keep a diary of their travels westward as you cover each topic and section of the book. They will role-play a pioneer in the occupation of their choice. As each territory is covered, they will update their diary with new information that they have learned. Writing will be graded on how their diary shows their understanding of each topic and details specific ideas learned.
Introduce Louisiana Purchase, read next section of book and discuss material.
Follow-up with diary entry that follows movement to territory gained by Louisiana Purchase.
Continue with Texas Annexation and diary entry.
Complete Mexican Cession and diary entry.
Complete Westward Movement activities with Oregon Territory and entry into their diary.
Have students write a conclusion entry that sums up information gained throughout the lessons. They may also create a cover and attach entries together to create a book.
Students will be assessed on the level of understanding of the topics that is shown through discussion and their diary entries.