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5th Grade: Westward Movement

Content Standard:  Develop an understanding of the relationship among time, change, and continuity in history.

Performance Standard:  Develop personal, global, and historical understanding of community and cultural diversity to achieve responsible citizenship.

Performance Objective:  Develop competence describing/sequencing territorial expansion and settlement of the United States:  Louisianna Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the acquisitions of Florida, Texas, Oregan and California.

Begin to acquire explaining the impact of Andrew Jackson’s presidency:  the role of the “common man” in politics, the significance of Jackson’s Indian policy, passage of the Indian Removal Act.

Quality Tools:  Brainstorming, Fishbone Diagram, Force Field Analysis, Run Chart, Scatter Plot

Teacher’s Note:  The lesson was tiered based on post assessment results from the Westward Movement unit. If students did not score at the proficient level on the post assessment, those standards were re-explored and discussed using the force field analysis tool. Students who showed evidence of proficiency on the post-assessment standards were assigned the fishbone diagram.

Engage: Students reviewed their post-assessment results to explore areas of strength and opportunities to improve their knowledge about Westward Movement.

Elaborate:  Teacher modeled applications of the two quality tools.

Force Field Activity
Example Concept: Louisiana Purchase

  1. What are the driving forces/positive things about this land acquisition? Students offered/brainstormed answers as teacher created force field analysis.
  2. What are the restraining/negative aspects about the land acquisition? Students offered/brainstormed answers as teacher created force field analysis.

Fishbone Activity All concepts related to Westward Movement

  1. Explanation of how fishbone diagram works was given.
  2. Big Question: What were the causes/reasons for Westward Movement?
  3. Modeling of how to keep coming back to the big question.


Force Field Groups

  1. Review text, articles, and your notes about the topic.
  2. Complete a force field analysis t-chart.
  3. Write a friendly letter to inform/warn the “leader” about the positive and negative aspects of the event.
    Writing to Andrew Jackson sharing the driving and restraining forces related to the Florida Acquisition
    Writing to Thomas Jefferson sharing the driving and restraining forces related to the Louisiana Purchase

Fishbone Group

  1. Work in pairs and brainstorm the causes and reasons for Westward Movement? 
  2. After completing the diagram, choose an area for further exploration and research i.e., the role of Brigham Young, mining for gold, the work of Chief Joseph and select a way to present your information to the class.

Connect:  Reflect on the process: 

  1. How did today’s lesson improve your understanding of (blank – specific concept related to Westward Movement)?
  2. What have you learned as a result of today’s lesson?
  3. How has today’s lesson made you a better thinker?