1. Vocabulary: (Integrated with music)
Content Standard- Determine the meanings and pronunciations of unknown words by using dictionaries, glossaries, technology and textual features, such as definitional footnotes or sidebars.
Students will be introduced to and use the Four-Step Method:
Definition of method: In constructing a definition of a concept, belief, proposal, or problem, it is helpful to formulate it as a slogan,to expand on it by saying more about the key concepts, to offer an example or two, and to provide some contrasting concepts, beliefs, proposals, or problems. The goal of providing a definition is to prevent or remedy misunderstanding. This method can also be used to evaluate definitions.
Activity Students use text books, tradebooks, internet or other sources to compile a list of terms associated with Westward Expansion. For each term follow the Four-Step Method to create definition. Trade lists with another group and read and discuss any discrepencies.
(Manifest destiny, Conestoga, Oregon Trail, Native American (prejudice- connotations of the word Indian) ‘49ers= prospectors, , claim-jumper, homesteaders, etc.)
Discuss how we can use the computer to find out about History.
Discuss why it might be important to be able communicate effectively in writing
or on the computer.
Assessment: In small groups students design short raps for significant terms using slogans, expansion, examples, exceptions. “SEEE Raps”

2.Poetry (Integrated with Social Studies)
Content Standard Identify and explain the defining characteristics of literary forms and genres, including fairy tales, folk tales, fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Brainstorm and discuss criteria of poems. Identify familiar types. Introduce Cinquain, Haiku.
With partner students write a poem about the animals of North America or their habitats.
Line 1:
one word
(subject or noun)
Line 2:
two words
(adjectives) that describe line 1
Line 3:
three words
(action verbs) that relate to line 1
Line 4:
four words
(feelings or a complete sentence) that relates to line 1
Line 5:
one word
(synonym of line 1 or a word that sums it up)
Or write a Haiku.
Haiku use simple words and grammar to convey an idea using three short lines of unrhymed poetry. The first line usually contains five (5) syllables, the second line seven (7) syllables, and the third line contains five (5) syllables. A Haiku should "paint" a mental image in the reader's mind. This is the challenge of Haiku - to put the poem's meaning and imagery in the reader's mind in ONLY 17 syllables over just three (3) lines of poetry!

3. Letters
Content Standards: Write formal and informal letters that include important details and follow correct letter format.
Generate ideas and determine a topic suitable for writing.
Identify parts of the friendly letter (heading, greeting, body, closing)
Students use teabags and paper to design "old looking" letters (using pen and ink media if can get from art specialist)
Think about how different groups of people were influenced by the push for Westward expansion (families left behind, travelers, Natives). Imagine you are a person living during the times of expansion.
Critical thinking questions: What kinds of feelings would you experience? Would you have conflicting feelings? Why?
What decisions would you have to make regarding what to take with you?
Activity-Write letters home about a subject of your choosing. Use the letter to describe the trail hardships, pioneer dreams, feelings about leaving home, etc. Include details that support your feelings about the move west and the hardships and triumphs pioneers may have had during the journey. Share letters by posting in the hallway for others to read.

4. Reading non-fiction-(Integrated with Social Studies)
Content Standard-Language Arts-Identify and explain the defining characteristics of literary forms and genres, including poetry, drama, fables, fantasies, chapter books, fiction and non-fiction.
Social Studies-Define Manifest Destiny and explain its impact on western expansion.
Critical Reading Strategies- Previewing, Questioning, Summarizing
Begin by previewing the text. Brainstorm based on titles and subtitles, pictures or other non-text features what the text may contain. Read in groups of 3-4. Each group gets a pad of post-its and decides who will be the recorder. As the text is read students ask questions and write them on post-its. Share questions upon completion of reading and discuss answers as whole group.
Compare the text reading on Manifest Destiny with the first hand account by Wilder. What are the similarities, differences? Who is the intended audience in both cases? Which of these sources would you most likely use as research material?
Language Arts-In small groups or with partners make comic strips, story boards based on predictions about what will happen next in the historical fiction Wilder story. Discuss how the story was written (diary) and compare to other stories they have read or heard about. Post strips in hallway or classroom.