The United States and Westward Expansion

Teacher Page


This webquest is designed to help 5th
grade students understand the hardship and prosperity that was encountered
during westward expansion in the 1860ís and beyond. This webquest is introduced
as a group project that can be expected to take 3-5 class periods. The students
will be doing individual research and also collaborating with their group members
to agree on travel aspects.

Additional resources can be found below.


SC State standards: GRADE 5
United States Studies: 1865 to the Present
Standard 5-2:The student will demonstrate an understanding of the continued westward expansion of the United States.
Enduring Understanding People moved west seeking economic opportunities. To understand the challenges faced by migrants and immigrants as they moved West and the impact of this movement on the native peoples of the region, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following

5-2.1Analyze the geographic and economic factors that influenced westward expansion and the ways that these factors affected travel and settlement, including physical features of the land; the climate and natural resources; and land ownership and other economic opportunities.

5-2.2 Summarize how technologies (such as railroads, the steel plow and barbed wire), federal policies (such as subsidies for the railroads and the Homestead Act), and access to natural resources affected the development of the West.

5-2.3Identify examples of conflict and cooperation between occupational and Ethnic groups in the West, including miners, farmers, ranchers, cowboys, Mexican and African Americans, and European and Asian immigrants.

5-2.4 explain the social and economic effects of westward expansion on Native Americans; including opposing views on landownership, Native American displacement, the impact of the railroad on the culture of the Plains Indians, armed conflict, and changes in federal policy


Travelers' Journal
Description: You will need to provide the students with blank paper, that they will use to create their travelers' journal.

Web Link

Web Link

The Public URL for this WebQuest:
WebQuest Hits: 676
Save WebQuest as PDF

Ready to go?

Select "Logout" below if you are ready
to end your current session.