Grade 7 literacy in social studies: Manifest destiny

This two-week Common Core-aligned unit explores the causes and effects of the Mexican-American War, including the ideology of Manifest Destiny, the annexation of Texas, and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. It builds upon the themes of western expansion and the growing sectional conflict between the North and South over slavery. The content for this history unit correlates with content in New York State's Social Studies Core Curriculum for Grades 7-8, Unit 6 – "Division and Reunion, Underlying Causes of the Civil War." It also previews themes addressed in Unit 8 – "The United States Expands its Territories." In the performance task, students write an essay in which they explain the ideas and events that led to the rapid territorial expansion of the United States in the 1840s. The essay should be developed using well-chosen facts, concrete details, and quotations from the primary and secondary sources contained in the unit.

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