Manifest Destiny: Lesson Plans and Inquiry Based Learning

Manifest Destiny Lesson Plans

Manifest Destiny Lesson Plans

Manifest Destiny is such an exciting topic to teach!  It’s always interesting to look at the different perspectives involved in this volatile period in American history.  These lessons and activities use primary sources and inquiry strategies to engage students in learning and deepen their understanding of Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion.


Transcontinental Railroad Citation Activity – I created this activity to teach students how to cite sources.  Students must cite their textbook properly with a little help from the Internet.  Students also must find sources online to support the textbook quote.

Manifest Destiny Inquiry Activity – I love starting a new unit by looking at a photograph or illustration.  This activity involves examining and asking questions about the painting “American Progress” by John Gast.  Based on a TCI lesson from my History Alive! curriculum, this activity takes things a bit further by requiring students to compile a list of questions they have about the painting.



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