Social Studies Week 23: Feb 24-28


Students warmed up by writing about the concept of manifest destiny and its importance. We discussed it briefly. We then did a 15 minute directed Q & A session in which we reviewed the details of both the Trail of Tears and The U.S.-Mexico War.

Students finished the 4th and final station from last last week’s stations activity, in which they examined primary and secondary sources  on Manifest Destiny and The U.S.-Mexico War.

Students were then informed that the Debate we will hold in the next class (Weds./Thurs.) will have two parts. In one part they will share their personal opinions on the Trail of Tears, U.S. Mexico War, and Manifest Destiny. They will use the position statements they prepared over break to assist with this. They may deliver these prepared statements and students can respond to one another’s statements. In the second portion of the debate, students will represent one of the four positions laid out in the following role cards: WestwardExpansionDebateRoleCards

The specific order for the debate topics is below under Weds/Thurs.

HOMEWORK: Review and prepare to successfully participate in the (graded) debate.


DEBATE Part 1 : From the role card perspectives

Overall Topic: Were Americans justified in accomplishing Westward Expansion using the methods they used?


-Manifest Destiny

-Mexican-American War

-Trail of Tears

-Agricultural Advances

-Louisiana Purchase


DEBATE Part 2: Personal perspectives

Homework: Begin reviewing for a unit test to be taken in class at the beginning of next week.


We did a geography activity in which students cut out puzzle pieces of the U.S. and labels/descriptions corresponding to the major westward expansions of the nation. Students then practiced assembling the pieces of the puzzle and recapping the stories of each acquisition as they do so.

Home work: Students should make one standard index card with any information they want to use during the test next week. They must make their own cards – they can not use a copy from another student. Double-sided is okay.

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