Before the Movie:


Why do you think people moved out West in the first half of the 19th century? Who do you think may have been displaced by this expansion? (Tap prior knowledge; Predict)


During the Movie (Pause Points):


Stop at the following times in the movie and ask questions or prompt a discussion to keep students focused and to assess their understanding before moving on:


Timecode 1:34: What combination of events made westward expansion seem “destined”? Who might be helped and who could be hurt in this process? (Draw conclusions)

Timecode 2:37: How did homesteading help to develop territories into states? (Recall; Identify problem/solution)

Timecode 4:21: In what ways did the government subvert or repress Native Americans’ rights?  (Synthesize/Identify details)


After the Movie:


Look at the four related movies at the bottom of the page. Explain how each is connected to the Westward Expansion topic. (Make connections)


Why did the US Government feel the western land was theirs to occupy? (Reflect; Draw conclusions)


BrainPOP recommends reading the movie description that appears on the Westward Expansion Topic Page to your class or have students read independently. Then have them watch the movie once through without pausing. Then, watch it again as class, this time using the discussion prompts.


*BrainPOP’s Discussion Questions and Prompts align to CCSS Speaking and Listening Standards.