Expanding West Project

Expanding West Project

styleChapter 11

Expanding West Project

Basic Instructions: For Chapter 11 you will be required to watch the flipped lesson on Discovery Education and take notes on the two content sections-Trails to the West and the California Gold Rush. Using that information and the information you research, you will choose one of these topics to create a podcast, newscast, blog or vlog. This can be an individual or small group project; it just depends on which option you choose. You can make these as tech savvy as you would like, but be sure to choose an option that you can do yourself. I don’t want you to get so hung up in the technology part that your content part gets lost. Below I list the 3 options with some specific directions for each. You will notice that I’m not giving you a TON of specific requirements. I will give you a broad explanation of my expectations and then you go from there…I know you will do great!! 

Standard: 8.1.18 Describe the causes, courses, challenges, compromises and consequences associated with westward expansion, including the concept of Manifest Destiny

Objectives of Expanding West Unit:

-I can describe the causes of westward expansion

-I can describe the courses of action (what did they do, where did they go, how did they get there) associated westward expansion

-I can describe the challenges of westward expansion

-I can describe the consequences (effects) of westward expansion

Content Requirement for ALL Options

Regardless of the option you choose, your project needs to demonstrate the above objectives about either TRAILS TO THE WEST or CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH.

In other words…your project needs to discuss the:

  • Causes
  • Actions
  • Challenges
  • Consequences


Option 1: Podcast

This option you can do in 2 different ways.

  • Teaching video-a podcast that people listen to to learn information that they don’t know already about-broad overview of subject
  • Newscast-this type is more of a specific event or “day in the life”


  • Broadcast 3 – 8 minutes
  • Individually or teams of 2
  • Additional Research & Written script

Option 2: A daily blog/vlog

Blog- a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style; A discussion or informational site published on the internet with posts typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).

Vlog- a blog in which the postings are primarily in video form; A form of blog for which the medium is video. Vlog entries often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images, and other information


  • Individual project
  • At least 7 different posts-5 of the 7 need to be at least 250 words
  • Needs to be “published” in some way

Option 3: Newscast

Hundreds of years ago there was not sufficient technology to hold a television news broadcast like you see today. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to recreate a news broadcast for a day in history that did not have technology.


  • Broadcast 3 – 8 minutes
  • At least 3 news stories
  • Teams of 4
  • Each group member is responsible for researching a different part of the content. You will also need to have a script.
  • One group member needs to be the anchor. This person should do the introduction and the closing statement.
  • You will need to decide on the order of topics for the newscast. You need to have transitions between each topic/report.
  • Each topic/report needs to have a visual aid that relates to what you’re talking about or it could be “on location”
  • Your newscast needs to look professional
  • You may want to dress for the time or include an “on location” reporter