The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

2014, Clint Eastwood, Diane Weiss-Rhodes, west

After discussing the romantic view of the West, students will use primary sources to determine if that view was accurate and will then be asked to create a character that could have lived in Kansas in the mid to late 1800s. 


Lesson Plan

Romanticizing the West

2013, max heinlein, west, westward movement

This lesson is designed to show how people learned about distant places in a time when there was no television, radio, or Internet, and when means of communication was very slow. Also how an artist interpretation of a place could influence people. 


Manifest Destiny: Did the Benefits Outweigh the Negative Consequences

2013, kathy bollenbach, manifest destiny, west

This Lesson plan will offer details about Manifest Destiny and the movement out west. Americans sought territory, resources and refuge beyond the Mississippi River in the 1840's. The pioneers, military expeditions, and enterpeneurs achieved great success in the west. However there were consequences poitically, diplomatically, and environmentally. Did the great benefits of Manifest Destiny outweigh the negative consequences?


A Pioneer T-Shirt

2013, manifest destiny, oregon trail, Phil Berndt, pioneers, west

This lesson plan will provide an understanding of the phrase “Manifest Destiny” and the impact that it had on the United States during the 1840’s and 1850’s. It will also offer an understanding of how this concept along with the discoveries and trails of movement to the west led to the mass migration of pioneers across the nation.


2013, chad adkins, homesteading, pioneers, west

This lesson looks at the Homestead Act and how it structured settlement in the West and particularly Kansas. It also discusses what the settlers have to do to be successful in settlement,and will introduce the homesteading simulation.


What does a western community look like?

leavenworth, mactavish, primary sources, west, wiebe

Dr. Bruce MacTavish from Washburn University and Glenn Wiebe of ESSDACK presented information and strategies to help teachers understand how Western communities developed and what those communities were like.

Who owns the land? Who decides?

kerry wynn, mickey ebert, november 2012, west

Dr. Kerry Wynn from Washburn University and Mickey Ebert, Education Liasion from the National Archives, presented information and strategies to help teachers understand who owned the land in the American West and how ownership was determined?

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Why Do People Move West?

bruce mactavish, marcia fox, september 2012, west

Dr. Bruce MacTavish from Washburn University and Marcia Fox, Education Liasion from the Kansas Historical Society, presented information and strategies to help teachers understand why people moved into the American West and how we perceive the West.


The Bully of the Plains

facebook, indian, kris hagans, native american, plains, primary sources, west, westward movement

The Oregon Trail

jeff friesen, manifest destiny, oregon, oregon trail, west, westward movement

Jeff's lesson is designed to give students an idea of what was involved in making the journey to Oregon by way of the Oregon Trail. Students will learn what was needed to make the trip, hardships encountered and hopefully an appreciation for the toughness of the people who made the trip.