Westward Expansion WebQuest
  wagon.jpg (22238 bytes)
Virginia US History 1.8
Introduction | Task | Process | Conclusion & Evaluation | Extension Activities

Howdy! Come on go with us, the wagon train is loadin’ up. We’re goin’ on a quest and it’s takin’ us west. You’ve heard about it…the land of opportunity. That’s where there’s loads of land, fresh air, and clean water, and you might even strike it rich! 

Don’t need much, just your partner and a good thinkin’ mind. We’ve got lots to learn about what went on in those parts from 1801 right up to the Civil War. So, saddle up…you’re in for the ride of your life.

Your search for information will lead you to the answers of questions about the growth and change in America from 1801-1861. Get with a partner and find those answers, with the help of the Internet sites below. 

Take notes, then transfer your work to a Word document. Use complete sentences, or copy and paste the questions into your document.  Notes need to be turned-in with your final project information.  Insert an Internet picture, spell correctly, and use proper writing structure in your final draft.  Cite your graphic resource. Have fun!

List the questions in order and use the Internet links under the question to guide you.
Read through the site facts carefully. 

Answer the following questions.

Who played key roles in the transaction of the Louisiana Purchase?

How much did Thomas Jefferson pay France for the territory?

Who did Jefferson send to explore the territory and why was the purchase so important?

Name the three ways the Seminole Indians left the Florida territory.

At the end of the Mexican War, what land areas did the U.S. receive?

Who were the original creators of the Oregon Trail?
http://www.calgoldrush.com/ (Hint:  Choose Part I, then "The Journey by Land")

What were two purposes for the forts on the Oregon Trail?

What did the Monroe Doctrine state to European powers?

Who invented the Cotton Gin? How did it help the South to prosper?

What Virginian invented the reaper? How was it helpful to farmers?

What impact did Fultonís improved steamboat have on transportation in the United States?

What four things did the transcontinental railroad do for the country?

Name the six types of currency used throughout U.S. History.

Respond to these questions:

If you were on the Trail in 1850, what seven supplies would you have taken with you?   Why did you choose those seven?

Which invention do you think had the greatest impact on western expansion?  Why did you choose that invention?

In class, we discussed the role of abolitionists.  If you had lived in the time of expansion, would you have supported the abolitionist cause or the slave owners?  Explain your answer.

Is the United States a country that believes that "all people are created equal"?  Explain your answer.

Conclusion & Evaluation  
You should have an understanding of the significance of the people and inventions that helped develop the growth and change in America’s quest to expand west.

*Completed information notes (25%)
*Properly composed Word document (50%)
*Cooperative partner effort (25%)

Extension Activities
Click on, http://members.tripod.com/~jtlawson/index-8.html, play the Louisiana Purchase Game, test your knowledge. 

Link to Boundaries of the Contiguous United States and view the territories as America formed..

Try the CD-ROM version of Oregon Trail with some friends. 

Look up vocabulary for the Gold Rush:

Introduction | Task | Process | Conclusion & Evaluation | Extension Activities

Graphic credits: http://www.goldrush1849.com/thewaywest.html

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Last updated: February 2004

seal3.jpg (15043 bytes) This WebQuest lesson has been approved for re-certification points through A Commonwealth of Knowledge, Virginia's site for educators.