Westward Expansion Timeline (1803-1959)

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for U.S. Territorial Expansion 1783-1959


US Territorial Expansion Timeline 1803-1959

Example



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Activity Overview


Before or after studying the United States' territorial expansion, students will want to have a good idea of the sequence of events and the steps America took to increase their land holdings. Using a timeline, students will be able to visualize each event and see how it fits in the narrative of westward expansion.

Students should begin with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, and note and explain major acquisitions between 1803 and today, such as Florida, Texas, the Mexican Cession, Oregon, and for connective purposes, include the modern acquisitions of Hawaii and Alaska (both of which became states in 1959). Students will be able to analyze and explain major concepts such as manifest destiny, war, foreign relations, and culture.

For an alternative to the timeline layout, have students create a timeline poster to incorporate into a presentation or gallery walk. You can add more than one template to this assignment to give students lots of options, and update the instructions accordingly.

Westward Expansion Timeline Events

  • 1803 - Louisiana Purchase
  • 1819 - Florida Acquisitions
  • 1836 - Texas Achieves Independence
  • 1846 - Oregon Territory
  • 1848 - Mexican Cession
  • 1959 - Alaska and Hawaii Become States

Extended Activity

Have students create a timeline storyboard on post 1850s land acquisitions to exemplify America’s imperialist period. Students should include acquisitions of territories, protectorates, and wherever else America has held influence. Places that could be included: Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines.Hawaii and Alaska could also be re-introduced and explained.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a timeline outlining the United States' major land acquisitions from 1803 to 1959.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Add additional cells as necessary.
  3. Identify each important acquisition and type them into the titles of each cell.
  4. Write a summary of the acquisition and conflicts in the description box.
  5. Create an illustration using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  6. Save and submit your storyboard.

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Rubric

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U.S. Territorial Expansion 1783-1959








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