We're currently continuing a US History unit on Westward Expansion.
I'm linking plans for a couple of lessons we've finished. I've started uploading the lessons to Zoho. I think it allows the lessons to be downloaded for editing if a person would like as well as copy/paste or read directly as one could when I've posted on this blog.
Wagon Train Travel in General
This plan includes the experience of travel in a wagon and cardinal directions (a Core Knowledge objective).
Santa Fe Trail
For these lessons I focused on the rich cultural influences in the area (Native American, Spanish, and then those of the Americans traveling on the Santa Fe Trail).
I'll be posting lessons for the Oregon Trail (and Gold Rush, Buffalo Bill, Alamo, etc.) as we work through them in the coming days.
It occurred to me that these westward lessons could combine with many of the Core Knowledge science objectives on habitats/biomes. For example, The Wilderness Road lessons could be used with forests, (with a stretch) the Ohio River Valley with underground (or river if you added a habitat lesson to CK objectives), the wagon train lessons with prairies, the Santa Fe Trail lessons with deserts, and the Oregon trail or California with Oceans (or mountains for one and oceans the other if you wanted to add a mountain habitat lesson). Rain Forests wouldn't work of course! I tend to do science and history in alternating units so we didn't do this but I think it might work well.