Westward Expansion Research Project


    The purpose of this activity is to develop questions and research answers using both printed text and computer resources. Goals include: reading for main idea, synthesizing information, drawing conclusions, organizing data into a logical research paper.

    The students will select a topic of interest to them. They will have books and Internet websites available tot use for research. Facts will be collected on colored index cards or using the template in the computer lab.

    The final report will consist of at least three paragraphs. Each paragraph will begin with a topic sentence and conclude with a transitional sentence to lead into the next topic. The end of the report will include a conclusion.
 

Research Topics
Related Websites
Oregon Trail:
propaganda, reasons for emigrating, expectations
Oregon Trail FAQ (q. #4)
http://www.endoftheoregontrail.org/faq.html
Oregon Trail:
trace the route, major sites along the way
Historic Sites on the Trail
http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/Sites.html

Encyclopedia Britanica

Santa Fe Trail:
who went, why, when?
The Santa Fe Trail Center
http://www.larned.net/trailctr/
(Scroll to the bottom of this site for great Q&A)
California Trail:
who, why (gold rush) when,
expectations vs. reality
The Gold Rush
http://www.pbs.org/goldrush/allabout.html

California National Historic Trail
http://www.californiawagontrail.com/history.html

Mormon Trail:
who, why, when?
Mormon Pioneer
http://www.nps.gov/mopi/mopi.htm
Lewis and Clark:
how did they open the West?
Adventures of Lewis and Clark
http://lewisandclarktrail.com/

Lewis and Clark

Indigenous people 
of the West:
how was their lifestyle affected
by Westward migration of settlers?
Hardships on the Trail
http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/Native.html

Oregon Trail FAQ (q. 5)
http://www.endoftheoregontrail.org/faq.html

Overland Trail Links: Plains Indians
http://www.over-land.com/indians.html

African Americans 
in the West:
why did they go West, 
what were some of the problems
they encountered?
Black Pioneers of the Northwest
http://www.endoftheoregontrail.org/blakbios.html
Transportation West:
wagons, walking, how did railroad affect the Oregon Trail?
Prairie Schooners
http://www.endoftheoregontrail.org/wagons.html
The Whitman Family:
who were they,
why were they remembered?
Whitman Mission
http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/Whitman.html

Whitman Mission Nat'l. Historic Site
http://www.nps.gov/whmi/student.htm

The Donner story:
where did they come from and what was their mistake?
The Donner Party:
Emigrants unable to resist the lure of
the American West
Problems along the
Oregon Trail:
natural hazards, poor decisions, results.
Oregon Trail FAQ (q. 13)
http://www.endoftheoregontrail.org/faq.html
 


    There may be two boys researching on topic, but each boy will write his own report.

    Color-coded note cards and computer template are coordinated so that information about the same aspect of a topic is printed on the same color. This facilitates organizing data into paragraphs.
 

Assessment
Points
Collecting information on cards
20
Organizing cards into paragraphs
10
Rough draft:
Introductory paragraph,
body of report,
conclusion
(at least 3 paragraphs)
50
Final copy (edited and corrected)
10
Oral presentation
10
Total
100



Here's another Internet directory of related websites that may prove useful:

Westward Expansion
http://edtech.kennesaw.edu/web/westward.html
 
 
 
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