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Activity Overview


Rallying around the idea of an American border at 54°40’ North latitude, Americans were willing to fight Great Britain over the swampy, wooded area. With war raging in Mexico, however, many were relieved when conflict was avoided during the negotiations. America soon found the idea of manifest destiny fully realized when their territory officially stretched to the Pacific Ocean.

Using a spider map, students will illustrate the 5 Ws of America acquiring the Oregon Territory. By detailing the major points of conflict with Great Britain, and the United States being on the brink of war, students will analyze and explain how America peacefully acquired what is now the Northwest continental United States.


Extended Activity

Have students use a spider map to further detail a present state in the Northwest territory. Students should focus on economics, functions, populations, commerce, etc. to expand on what the area means to present day America. Utilize the 5 W’s activity to allow students to compare and contrast the path from territorial acquisition to statehood.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment --- N/A ---



Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a 5W analysis of the acquisition of the Oregon Territory: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title box for each cell, type Who, What, When, Where and Why.
  3. In the descriptions, answer the question.
  4. Create an image for each cell with appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.


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U.S. Territorial Expansion 1783-1959





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