Unit 5 Building Block 1

The Manifest Destiny

Big Idea:

  • Where people live is shaped by economic, social, political, and environmental factors.
  • Groups of people are connected by shared cultural traits.

Student Outcomes:

  • I can state reasons why groups of people settle in the various parts of the United States.
  • I can identify the events and concepts associated with the US expansion including Manifest and the Louisiana Purchase.
  • I can identify the challenges, opportunities, and contributions of people from various immigrant groups.
  • I can identify and describe the types of settlement and patterns of land use in the US.
  • I can compare how people in different parts of the US earn a living, past and present.
  • I can discuss the patterns of work and economic activities.
  • I can discuss the location and patterns of settlement and geographic factors that influence where people live.
  • I can understand the patterns of work and economic activities in the US.
  • I can discuss the contributions of people of various racial, ethnic, and religious groups to the US.

Learning Experiences:

  • SSA Lesson Guide Preview p. 197
  • SSA Lesson Guide Building Background Knowledge p. 197
  • SSA Lesson Guide Experiential Exercise Phase 1 and 2 pp. 198-200, use in conjunction with http://www.animatedatlas.com

 *Before class, create a floor map of the United States, following the diagram on this slide or in the Procedures. Use masking tape to carefully outline the territories added to the United States during the 1800s.

*Tape the labels from Information Master A to the correct geographic areas. Place one chair in each area, as indicated in the diagram.
(Note: The chairs are intended to represent American Indians and former Mexican citizens who were living in western territories acquired by the United States between 1783 and 1853. Do not reveal this to students until the debriefing.)


*Divide students into six groups and have them sit on the periphery of the floor map in numbered groups. Make sure that each group can clearly see the screen.

*Follow the instructions in the Lesson Guide.

  • SSA Lesson Guide Reading Further: Read The Cherokee Trail of Tears and discuss.
  • Watch Discovery Education “Cherokee Trail of Tears” video segment (5:25). This is a very short, yet powerful segment.
  • Students will complete 6 comic strip panels that show the perspectives of an American settler and a Cherokee Indian about the Trail of Tears of experience.
  • In creating the six panels, label the top three “American Pioneer Perspective”, and the bottom three “Cherokee Indian Perspective”. Make sure the students use sentences to fully describe what they are illustrating.
  • Checklist