There is so much more to the wild west than just cowboys, Indians, covered wagons, and dust bowls. Our free westward expansion history unit has everything you need to make history come alive for your elementary age kids!
How many of you thought this period of history was just about cowboys & Indians? I’m a huge history fan and I myself never wanted to dive deeper because I wasn’t a fan of cowboy movies. LOL! Boy was I missing out!
The wild west is filled with epic adventures for everyone: from dangerous covered wagon rides to searching for gold, our first post office, railroad, and more! Come joins us we dive into this truly fascinating period of American history – Westward Expansion!
Most kids know about Columbus “discovering” America in 1492, early settlers in Colonial America, but their history drops off after we gained our independence after the Revolutionary War in 1776. It’s a shame because we just became a nation and there is a lot of exciting things happening as we form our new nation, and discover the rest of the country!
Westward Expansion for Kids covers 1783 to 1898 (just after Hawaii joins the USA) so make sure you see our Civil War for Kids unit to get that important piece of history that deserves a study all of it’s own.
This week kids will make a salt dough map of the us noting elevation and rivers which were so important to settlers moving west, learn about the Louisiana Purchase (steal of deal that doubled the size of the USA), learn about animal trails (who the settlers encountered), and made our own moccasins to remind us of Sacajawea who helped Luis and Clark on their expedition to the Pacific Ocean.
—-> The Oregon Trail
This week students learned about the dangerous Oregon Trail and painted it on our dried salt dough map. We made our own model of a covered wagon and learned how hard life was for settlers traveling west. Kids loved learning about life for these wild west Americans by making their own crackers and square dancing. Finally we used a wild west themed activity to practice counting and skip counting before completing our worksheets for the week.
Take a virtual field trip to learn about the pony express, pan for gold, make a railroad project, and finish your westward expansion worksheets to complete the unit.
Wild West Fun for Younger Learners
More Exciting History for Kids