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Jackson and the West

Lecture Notes

 Title  Description  Video  One Drive Google Slides 
 Destiny 1 - The Rise of Jackson A brief introduction to Jackson's rise to power with a close look at the elections of 1824 and 1828. x PPT  x
 Destiny 2 - 
Jackson's Presidency
Jackson made many extreme promises during his campaign and once elected did not hesitate to push them through. Does history repeat itself?x
 The West The story of America's Westward Expansion. We'll look at the trails to Texas, Utah, and California along with the Mexican-American War.  x PPT  


1. HA: Bias and Jackson - How does bias affect our view of historical figures? Students read one of two write-ups on Jackson and determine how loaded language within it colors their views.

2. Jackson's Life in Pictures - [Student Worksheet] An introduction to the life of Jackson using six images that span his life. Students will differentiate between facts and assumptions drawn from evidence and conclude what historians might think about Jackson's life based solely on these six images. 

3. Jackson Stations - 6 stations with an in-depth look at multiple primary sources regarding Jackson's presidency. Includes stations on the spoils system, nullification, the tariff of abominations, Indian removal and the war against the National Bank. Many include small act-it-out simulations to help students grasp the concepts.

4. Jackson Good vs. Evil Documents - a series of 10 documents that I got from somewhere else (sorry, I don't remember!) that students analyze, categorize and rank in terms of persuasiveness. This will serve as part of the pre-writing for the final Jackson essay.

5. Jackson Vs. - a series of events from Jackson's life that students classify as good or evil by creating a T-chart. More preparation for the final essay.

6. Jackson Argumentative Essay - Does Jackson deserve to be on (or removed from!) the $20 bill? 

7. Trail of Tears Simulation - Students read some surprising perspectives on the Indian Removal Act while being shuffled around the school against their will to simulate the disruption of losing your "home." Adapted from a lesson from the Stanford History Education Group. (Lesson Plan)

8. HA: Tall Tales - Read two accounts of the life of Davy Crockett to see how tall tales altered the histories of some true American figures.

9. HA: The Alamo - Analyze a call to defend the Alamo and decide if you would have stayed to defend it or ran away.

10. Legit or Legend: Davy Crockett - Students compare historical sources to determine if the popular culture representations of Davy Crockett's death at the Alamo are historical or legendary. Works great with the last 5 minutes of 1960's The Alamo starring John Wayne as an introduction.

11. Western Dossiers - Students analyze information about 6 later Western figures to determine who was a lawman and who was a law-breaker. 

12. Western Expansion DBQ - Analyze four documents to determine whether or not expanding west was the right decision for the United States.

13. Culture Shock: The West - Take a day to experience a little bit of life in the west by analyzing a painting, checking out prices in a mining town and maybe even doing a bit of square dancing.