Manifest Destiny & Westward Expansion

This webquest will help students discover the true meaning and effects of manifest destiny by researching individuals who were part of westward expansion and then writing a diary from the perspective of that individual.

Introduction

 

As we are learning about Westward Expansion, we must remember that these are real individuals that made this amazing journey.  The best way to learn about them is to put ourselves in their shoes.  For this activity, you will write a journal from the perspective of an individual traveling west or who is a native to the west.

Task

 

 

Your task is to create a diary as if you were a settler going west or someone who already lives in the west.  You will be one of the following ten individuals (assigned in class): 

1)  A working class, single, female.

2)  A merchant

3)  An upper class, married, female

4)  A Chinese Immigrant

5)  A young girl

6)  A Mexican native

7)  A young, single, white, male

8)  A freed slave

9)  A family

10)  A young boy

 
In your groups, you will research your individual with the websites provided.  Individually you will then write three journal entries as outlined below and in the format as displayed on this website and as shown in class. You will also need to incorporate your vocabulary words into your journal entries:

1)  Introduce your individual telling your reader who you are, where you come from, and why you are in the west.

2)  Describe your experiences living in the west.  What is your job?What hardships do you encounter, etc?

3)  Tell the reader of your hopes and dreams for the future.  Are you happy that you migrated?  What do you hope to do in the future?  What advice would you give to others coming west or who already live in the west?

The final part of this project will be a presentation of your favorite journal entry.  With your group you may act it out or you may just read it out loud, but you must bring at least 2 props, whether it is clothing you wear, pictures, etc.

Process

 

First, download and print this worksheet to complete as you view the websites.  Next, view the websites that correspond with your individual. 

 1) A WORKING CLASS, SINGLE, FEMALE:

PBS Homestead History: Life on Homestead

Prezi Presentation about Role of Women 

Women of the West – and everyday life along the trail

2) A MERCHANT:

Yankee Trader

Economic opportunities in California

Commerce during the Gold Rush

3) AN UPPER-CLASS, MARRIED, FEMALE:

Elizabeth Gunn’s voyage to the West

Narcissa Whitman, among the first white settlers of the west

Emmaline Wells, Mormon pioneer and activist

4)A CHINESE IMMIGRANT

Chinese in the Pacific Northwest 

Chinese Americans in the Columbia River Basin

Chinese Immigrants in California 

Chinese and Mexican Immigrants 

5) CHILDREN

Schooling Outside the 13 Colonies 

Pioneer Children 

What Kids Did on the Western Frontier

6) A MEXICAN NATIVE 

Mexico's Views on the Mexican-American War

History Guy: Mexican- American War

Life in California Before the Gold Discover

Chinese and Mexican Immigrants 

7) A YOUNG, SINGLE, MALE 

Gold Rush

It Was Hard Work and Hard Play

Moving West: Men lived on Boiled Badger

More Disease than Riches
 

8) A FREED SLAVE

Benjamin Singleton 

African Americans in the West

Prezi- African Americans in the Old West

9) NATIVE AMERICANS

Impact on American Indians

Prezi- Impact of Native Americans

Native Americans

Indians of the Midwest- Westward Expansion
 

 It is now time to write your journal.  Remember, you are writing as the individual so use first person (I, me, we. etc).  In addition, keep in mind that this is an activity that requires both creativity and research. While your details are based on fact, you can elaborate on them to create a story about the person with your imagination (within believable boundaries). If you have any questions about what is appropriate, please ask the teacher.  Below is a list of the journal entries that you must include, in each journal entry you should use at least 2 vocabulary words. In total for your 3 journal entries you will need use at least 4-6 vocabulary words. 

JOURNAL ENTRY PROMPTS:

1)  Introduce your assigned individual by telling your reader who you are, where you come from, and why you are in the west.

2)  Describe your experiences living in the west.  What is your job?What hardships do you encounter? Are you poor, wealthy, or somewhere in between?

3)  Tell the reader of your hopes and dreams for the future.  Are you happy that you migrated?  What do you hope to do in the future?  What advice would you give to others coming west?

ASSESSMENT:

The final step of this project is to present your favorite journal entry to the class. You may read the entry out loud. Your own requirement is that you have 2 props (clothing, pictures, etc.) to aid your journal reading. 

OR

Act it out with your group. In your group you will be required to come up with a scene that shows what each of your characters would have experienced in the West. Groups cannot have double of a character. 

As other groups are presenting, you are responsible for taking notes. This will be provided in class. 

EVALUATION:

You will be scored according to the criteria of the following rubric. In order to earn a passing grade you must achieve at least a 3 or a 4 in each of the categories. 

 

Beginning 1

Developing 2

Accomplished 3  

Exemplary 4

Journal

Entries

Journal shows no understanding of events of the time.  Confusing entries. Minimal use of standard English, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization appropriate for this grade level.

No Vocabulary Used

Written journal that shows character was not a witness to events. Having little understanding of Westward Expansion. Inconsistent use of  standard English, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.

Limited Vocabulary Used

Original journal that is written as though the character was there.  Showing an understanding for Westward Expansion. Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization are used appropriately for this grade level, with few problems.

4-5 vocabulary Words Used

Original journal that is written as though the character is a witness to the events. Having a full understanding of Westward Expansion.  Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization are used appropriately for this grade level throughout the entries.

6  or more vocabulary words are used

Worksheet

 

Student does not have grasp of information; student cannot answer questions about subject. Students have started Internet research .  Notes/outlines were not completed.

Student is uncomfortable with information and can answer only basic questions. Students have started Internet research.  Students have a basic understanding of the historical period. Notes/outlines were partially completed.

Student is at ease with content. Student  can answer question, but does not elaborate.  Students have completed Internet research. Students have an understanding of the historical period. Notes/outlines were completed.

Student demonstrates full knowledge with explanations and elaboration. Students have completed Internet research. Students have good understanding of the historical period. Notes/outlines were complete and detailed.

Use of Class Time

Rarely listens to, shares with, or supports the efforts of others. Often is not a good team player. The final product is not the result of a group effort.

Sometimes  listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others.  The team had problems working together. Very little evidence the group communicated ideas.

Usually listens to, shares, with, and supports the efforts of others. The team worked well together, but could have used each other’s skills better.

Almost always listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others. Tries to keep people working well together. It is obvious that a group effort created the final product.

Presentations

 

No props were used. Audience cannot understand presentation because there is no sequence of information, and little understanding of events.

One prop was used, but many mistakes were made.  Audience had difficulty following presentation because student’s information has little to no sequence.

Appropriate props were used.  Students present information in logical sequence which audience can follow.

Students went above and beyond with props.  Students present information in logical, interesting sequence which audience can follow.

Conclusion

After all of the groups have presented, you will reflect on which individual you would like to have been going west.  Why did you choose this individual?  Do you think their life was easy or hard?  What was unique about their experience in the West?

Credits

Permissions
We all benefit by being generous with our work. Permission is granted for others to use and modify this WebQuest for educational, non-commercial purposes as long as the original authorship is credited. The modified WebQuest may be shared only under the same conditions. See the Creative Commons Attribution • Non-Commercial • Share-Alike license for details

by

  • Amy Echols Starkey, SDSU-TEP
  • Cynthia Lewis, Scripps Ranch High School
  • Lorena Lucero, SDSU

modified by

  • Daisy Lemus, East Valley Central Middle School-EVSD90
  • Kerri Vanicek, East Valley Central Middle School-EVSD90