Monthly Archives: April 2014

History Test: Westward Expansion

WEEK 17:  Westward Expansion History Test

NOTE: Following is the Westward Expansion History Test.  7th and 8th graders should be able to do all of this test.  4th through 6th graders should be able to do most of the test.   K – 3rd graders will be able to do a lot of this test orally.   Each question is worth 2 points.  This test is OPTIONAL.   Please feel free to skip it; scale it; eliminate parts of it; use it merely as a review, or do whatever best suits your family!  If you choose to give your children this test, I would recommend reviewing the “Discussion Questions” from the last 16 weeks’ lesson plans the day before you give the test.

Following the test you will find a teachers’ answer key.

Name: ______________________________ Date: ______________

Westward Expansion History Test

Fill in the Blank with the correct answer(s):

1. What important man (who later became president) came up with much of the plans for the Constitution? ______________________________________________________

2. Where did the Constitutional convention meet? ___________________

3. Who was president of the Constitutional Convention? _______________

4. What important historical figure urged the delegates to sign the Constitution even if they didn’t agree with all of it? ______________________________________________________

5. What are the first 10 Amendments of the Constitution called? ______________________________________________

6. According to the 5th Amendment, a person is innocent until proven ______?

7. What did the cotton gin do? __________________________________  ___________________________________

8. What famous document did Thomas Jefferson write? ________________  ____________________________________

9. The huge piece of land Thomas Jefferson purchased from Napoleon was called   __________________________________?

10. What day did Thomas Jefferson die? ___________________________

11. Who were the leaders of the Corps of Discovery? ___________________

12. What famous Native American woman helped the Corps of Discovery? ________________________________________

13. What great American city had many of its buildings burned during the War of 1812? ________________________________

14. What is the name of our National Anthem and who wrote it? ________________________________________________ and ___________________________________________

15. What famous canal was built across the state of New York in the 1800’s? ________________________________________

16. What animal pulled the barges of this canal? _______________________

17. What were Buffalo chips use for? ______________________________

Multiple Choice: Circle the correct answer(s).

18. Which of the following was NOT a problem our country was having before the Constitution was adopted?
A.) Each state had its own money
B.) Couldn’t pay its soldiers
C.) British refused to move out of military posts
D.) No good farmland
E.) No court system

19. The first set of rules America adopted for governing the country (which didn’t work well) was called?
A.) Declaration of Independence
B.) Articles of Confederation
C.) The Constitution
D.) The Federalist Papers

20. What are the three branches of government? (circle three)
A.) The Executive Branch
B.) The Federal Branch
C.) The Legislative Branch
D.) The Judicial Branch

21. Changes to the Constitution are called?
A.) Laws
B.) Bills
C.) Amendments
D.) None of the above

22. Which of the following is NOT one of the 5 basic freedoms listed in the first Amendment?
A.) Freedom of Religion
B.) Freedom of Speech
C.) Freedom from Slavery
D.) Freedom of the Press

23. What was the Cumberland Gap?
A.) Path through the Rocky Mountains
B.) Path where the Erie Canal was built
C.) Path through the Appalachian Mountains
D.) None of the above

24. What famous hunter/explorer built the Wilderness Road and started a new settlement in Kentucky?
A.) Meriwether Lewis
B.) William Clark
C.) Thomas Jefferson
D.) Daniel Boone

25. During what war were Eli Whitney’s muskets used?
A.) Revolutionary War
B.) War of 1812
C.) World War I
D.) All of the Above

26. Thomas Jefferson was our country’s _________ president.
A.) First
B.) Second
C.) Third
D.) Fourth

27. James Madison was our country’s __________ president.
A.) Second
B.) Third
C.) Fourth
D.) Fifth

28. Thomas Jefferson asked the Corps of the Discovery to ……
A.) To find a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean
B.) To explore the land and find out about the animals and plants living there and to journal about their experiences.
C.) To meet & establish friendly relationships with the Native Americans they met.
D.) All of the above.

29. Which of the following was NOT a supply the Corps of Discovery brought on their mission?
A.) Guns & ammunition
B.) Oxen
C.) Gifts for American Indians
D.) A large keel boat

30. Which of the following was NOT a danger the Corps faced?
A.) Death of York
B.) Lack of Food
C.) Grizzly bears
D.) Some Indian tribes were unfriendly & dangerous

31. Which of the following was NOT a new animal the Corps of discovery encountered?
A.) Deer
B.) Prairie Dogs
C.) Grizzly Bears
D.) Buffalo

32. The Native American woman traveling with the Corps of Discovery was a great help to the men. How?
A.) She saved boxes of supplies that had fallen in the river.
B.) She dug up edible roots to eat.
C.) She translated and helped them find their way across the territory.
D.) She acted as a sign of “peace” because she was a woman carrying a baby.
E.) All of the Above

33. Why did America declare War on Great Britain? (Circle all that apply.)
A.) Britain was arming Native Americans and encouraging them to attack Americans.
B.) America believed in slavery.
C.) British soldiers wouldn’t leave the country.
D.) The British prevented our ships from trading with France.

34. What great Indian leader fought against the U.S during the War of 1812?
A.) Tecumseh
B.) Sequoyah
C.) John Ross
D.) Cinque

35. What great Indian leader was head of the Cherokee nation during the Trail of Tears?
A.) Tecumseh
B.) Sequoyah
C.) John Ross
D.) Cinque

36. What great African slave led the revolt on the Amistad slave ship?
A.) Tecumseh
B.) Sequoyah
C.) John Ross
D.) Cinque

37. What Cherokee Indian invented the written Cherokee language?
A.) Tecumseh
B.) Sequoyah
C.) John Ross
D.) Cinque

38. What was NOT something Sojourner Truth preached about?
A.) Killing white slave owners
B.) Trusting in God
C.) Slavery was wrong
D.) Women’s rights

39. What were the most common territories white pioneers traveled to during the mid 1800’s?
(circle all that apply)
A.) Oregon
B.) Oklahoma
C.) Arkansas
D.) California

40. What hardships did pioneers encounter on the trail? (Circle all that apply)
A.) Crossing rivers
B.) Disease
C.) Broken wagon wheels
D.) Storms

41. Which of the following was NOT something people usually carried in their wagons?
A.) Declaration of Independence
B.) Quilts
C.) Guns
D.) Tools

Write “T” if the answer is true.  Write “F” if the answer is false.

42. T/F Initially the Bill of Rights was only written for white men. _____________

43. T/F Eli Whitney did not begin to invent things till he was an adult. ________________

44. T/F Eli Whitney became rich from creating the cotton gin. ____________________

45. T/F Eli Whitney’s cotton gin decreased the need for slaves in America. _______________

46. T/F All the battles of the War of 1812 were fought on U.S. soil. ___________________

47. T/F The war of 1812 ended because the U.S. won all the major battles. _____________________

48. T/F Sojourner Truth was a slave in the South. ______________________________

49. T/F During Sojourner’s life many Northerners began to believe that slavery was wrong and slaves in the North were eventually freed. ____________________________________________

50. T/F Mom is proud of her kids and loves them very much. ____________________

Extra Credit:
Grades 1 – 3: Name 2 ways pioneer children passed the time during the long trip westward.

Grades 4 – 6:
What was the name of the New York governor who built the famous canal during the 1800’s?
What famous president represented the Amistad slaves at the Supreme Court trial?

Grades 7 & 8:
What town did Tecumseh live in? ________________________
Who was Tsali? ____________________________________

Answer Key:

  • 1.  James Madison
  • 2.  Philadelphia
  • 3.  George Washington
  • 4.  Benjamin Franklin
  • 5.  The Bill of Rights
  • 6.  Guilty
  • 7.  It took seeds out of cotton.
  • 8.  The Declaration of Independence
  • 9.  The Louisiana Purchase
  • 10.  4th of July
  • 11.  Lewis & Clark
  • 12.  Sacagawea
  • 13.  Washington D.C.
  • 14.  The Star Spangled Banner; Francis Scott Key
  • 15.  Erie Canal
  • 16.  Mules
  • 17.  Burned for fuel in fires
  • 18.  D
  • 19.  B
  • 20.  A, C, & D
  • 21.  C
  • 22.  C
  • 23.  C
  • 24.  D
  • 25.  B
  • 26.  C
  • 27.  C
  • 28.  D
  • 29.  B
  • 30.  A
  • 31.  A
  • 32.  E
  • 33.  A, C, & D
  • 34.  A
  • 35.  C
  • 36.  D
  • 37.  B
  • 38.  A
  • 39.  A & D
  • 40.  A, B, C, & D
  • 41.  A
  • 42.  T
  • 43.  F
  • 44.  F
  • 45.  F
  • 46.  F
  • 47.  F
  • 48.  F (She was a slave in the North.)
  • 49.  T
  • 50.  T
  • Extra Credit Grades 1 – 3:  School lessons, sewing, walking, playing games, practiced shooting, helped take care of other siblings, helped take care of animals, etc. (answers will vary)
  • Extra Credit Grades 4 – 6:  DeWitt Clinton; John Quincy Adams
  • Extra Credit Grades 7 – 8:  Prophet’s Town; Tsali was a Cherokee Indian living in North Carolina who surrendered to white soldiers, along with his sons, in return for the agreement to leave his people alone.  He and two of his sons were killed.


Copyright April 24th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette

Leave a comment

Filed under Government, Westward Expansion

The Wagon Train

Week 16: The Wagon Train




READ K – 4: The Josefina Story Quilt by Eleanor Coerr

5 – 6: Rachel’s Journal: The Story of a Pioneer Girl by Marissa Moss

7 – 8: Bound for Oregon by Jean Van Leeuwen (I love this book!  It has a beautiful Christian emphasis.)




READ K – 3: Wagon Train by Sydelle Kramer

4 – 6: The Oregon Trail by Elaine Landau

7 – 8: Growing Up in Pioneer America by Judith Pikerton Josephson


Note: I highly recommend assigning books from Reading Plan A. They are historical fiction and give a wonderful idea of the hardships of traveling along the Oregon Trail. There is a little more reading involved, but your children will probably enjoy reading the stories, and connecting with the characters, and they will probably find them more interesting than the books in Reading Plan B. The books in Reading Plan B are nonfiction and give more of a factual account of life on a Wagon Train. However, they are still very well written and an enjoyable read.

Further Information: From 1800 to 1850 the United States acquired land west of the Mississippi. See below:

  • 1803: The Louisiana Purchase
  • 1819: U.S. acquired Florida
  • 1845: U.S. annexed Texas (disputed boundary lines with Mexico)
  • 1846: U.S. acquired Oregon Territory
  • 1848: In The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo U.S. acquired Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas (officially), Utah, and western Colorado.

As the U.S. acquired these territories many American citizens traveled west to settle the cheap land (often as little as a dollar an acre). Others traveled west for adventure. The US government used the sale of the land to raise money. Of course the offer of inexpensive land also helped to establish strong communities in these newly acquired territories.


  • What were pioneers? (People who traveled west to live in a new land where very few people had lived before.)
  • Why did many people travel west? (inexpensive good land, adventure)
  • What did people travel in to get to the land? (covered wagons)
  • What were wagon trains and why did people travel in them? (groups of wagons – sometimes as many as a hundred traveled together for safety)
  • During what time period did many Wagon trains travel westward? (Mid 1800’s)
  • What were the most common territories people traveled to? (Oregon & California)
  • On average, about how many miles could a wagon travel a day? (10 to 15)
  • What did most pioneers use to pull the wagons? (Oxen)
  • What did people carry in their wagons? (furniture, quilts , tables, chairs, clocks, food, guns, tools)
  • Did most people travel in the wagons or walk? (they walked – the wagons were full of their stuff)
  • What hardships did they encounter on the trail? (crossing rivers, not enough water, dirty water, broken wheels, disease, bugs, unfriendly Indians, storms, wild animals, snakes, many people died, sometimes animals died, children could be crushed under wagon wheels if they fell off a wagon)
  • Were most Indians friendly? (yes)
  • Why did they often visit wagon trains? (to trade with them)
  • Did the wagons have breaks? (no)
  • How did they go downhill? (lowered by ropes)
  • How long did most journeys west take? (4 to 6 months)
  • How did families spend their time? (did school lessons, made quilts, hunted, played instruments, prayed, danced)

Questions for grades 4 – 8:

  • What were Buffalo chips? (Buffalo droppings used for fuel to keep fires going – they didn’t smell when burned)
  • Why do you think wagon trains weren’t as common in the 1870’s? (invention of transcontinental railroad)

ACTIVITIES: K – 4: Cut out squares and triangles (2 inch width) from construction paper in various colors. Using the quilt pattern ideas on this site for help:
design a quilt on a small square piece of poster board. Glue your squares and triangles in interesting patterns to create a paper quilt.
5 – 6: Write a paragraph discussing at least 3 of the hardships the character in your story faced while traveling along the Oregon Trail.
7 – 8: Write a 5 paragraph three proof essay discussing at least 3 of the hardships the character in your story faced while traveling along the Oregon Trail.

Copyright April 18th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette


Leave a comment

Filed under Charlotte Mason, Westward Expansion

Native American History Early 1800’s (Tecumseh’s Rebellion)

Week 15: Native American History Early 1800’s (Tecumseh’s Rebellion)


VIEW K – 8: 500 Nations DVD (Episode 6 only)

Note: The subject matter in this DVD may be a bit hard for students in K – 3 to comprehend.  Feel free to skip this lesson for young children.  Also, this DVD is told from the perspective of Native Americans, many of whom were not Christians and thought little of missionaries. Consequently, in a small section in the beginning of this DVD, Christian missionaries are not painted in a positive light. (Native Americans felt that missionaries were trying to “force their religion on them”).  For older students this can be a great topic of discussion.  If you’d like to avoid this section of the video for younger students, you can start Episode 6 at chapter 4 “Tenskwatawa and Prophetstown”.


  • Feeling depressed over the loss of their land, what bad habit did many Native American men develop? (Alcoholism)
  • Who was Tecumseh? (Most powerful Indian leader of his time)
  • What tribe was he from? (Shawnee)
  • What message did he and his brother spread to Native American tribes? (Return to original, Native American ways; Indians must unite against the white man – must keep them out of the land by force; Native American life stood on the brink of disaster, Americans will not stop ‘till they have taken ALL of the land)
  • How did many Native Americans respond to Tecumseh’s message? (were drawn to hear him and follow his ways)
  • What was Prophetstown? (area where Tecumseh preached & Indians gathered to him)
  • Why did some Native Americans disagree with his message? (some wanted to join white society, others thought fighting against the whites was suicide)
  • Who destroyed Prophetstown? (future President William Henry Harrison while Tecumseh was gone)
  • How did the War of 1812 help Tecumseh? (Joined with British forces to push out Americans)
  • How did many Southern Indian tribes interact with Americans? (assimilated into white culture)
  • What did Sequoyah invent? (Cherokee written language)
  • Why did many Americans travel over the Cherokee border? (gold was found)
  • What was the Indian Removal Act? (Policy to move Indians westward to give whites their land)
  • Which President encouraged this policy? (Andrew Jackson)
  • What happened to the Indian tribes forced to move west? (many died along the way)
  • Who was John Ross? (Cherokee Chief)
  • When the Cherokee had to face Indian removal he took the matter to the Supreme Court. What did the Supreme Court say? (that the land belonged to the Cherokee; they should not be removed)
  • What did President Andrew Jackson say to the judges? (they must enforce the law themselves; he would not do it)
  • Who was Major Ridge and what did he do? (Without consent of Cherokee council, gave away Cherokee land in return for assistance traveling west)
  • What happened to Major Ridge? (assassinated)
  • What was the “Trail of Tears”? (Mass exodus of Cherokee people; many died along the way; much suffering and tears)

ACTIVITIES: K – 3:   Look at this picture of Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison:

What do you imagine Tecumseh is saying to William Henry Harrison in this picture? Try to draw your own similar picture of Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison.  Write what you believe his words would have been under the picture.
4 – 8:   Using this website for help: create a chart (posterboard) about the first 12 American Presidents.   Include the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Thumbnail sized Photo (Print from this site:
  3. Years in office
  4. Home state
  5. Land acquired to expand U.S. while in office — Include the following, putting them in the appropriate row for the appropriate president: Louisiana Purchase (1803), Florida (1819), Annexed Texas (1845), Oregon Territory (1846), Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas (officially), Utah, & western Colorado (1848)
  6. Significant events — Include the following, putting them in the appropriate row for the appropriate president: Bill of Rights (1791), Amistad (1839), Lewis & Clark (1805), War of 1812 (1812), Star Spangled Banner (1812), Erie Canal (1826), Eli Whitney & Cotton Gin (1794), and Trail of Tears (1838).
  7. (Optional) Map of U.S. at the time — Using this website for help: print maps of the US and outlying territories during each president’s term.

Copyright April 11th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette

Leave a comment

Filed under Charlotte Mason, Westward Expansion

Sojourner Truth

Week 14: Sojourner Truth


READ K – 3: Sojourner Truth: Path to Glory by Peter Merchant

4 – 6: Sojourner Truth by Gwenyth Swain OR Sojourner Truth by Laura Hamilton Waxman

7 – 8: Sojourner Truth (In their Own Words) by Peter & Connie Roop




  • T/F Sojourner Truth was a slave in the South. (False: Slave in the North)
  • What was Sojourner Truth’s real name? (Isabella Baumfree)
  • Where did Sojourner Truth and her family sleep when she was little? (cold, dark, damp, basement)
  • What happened to Sojourner Truth’s brothers and sisters? (sold away)
  • How old was Sojourner Truth when she was sold? (9)
  • T/F Slave masters were fair to her. (False: some beat her, made her work hard all day long; one promised her freedom after 9 years but didn’t give it to her; sold her son away)
  • What belief was a great comfort to her? (Belief that God loved her and cared for her.)
  • How did Sojourner Truth become famous? (as a great preacher)
  • Why did Isabella change her name to Sojourner Truth? (Sojourner is a traveler. She traveled from place to place preaching the truth.)
  • What things did Sojourner Truth preach about? (trusting in God, slavery was wrong; women’s rights)
  • T/F During Sojourner’s life many Northerners began to believe that slavery was wrong and slaves in the north were eventually freed. (True)

ACTIVITIES: K – 3: Coloring page:

4 – 5:  Sojourner Truth once said “”If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again.” What do you think she meant by this statement? Write your answer in paragraph form.
6 – 8:Pick two of Sojourner Truth’s famous quotes on this page and, in paragraph form, write what you think she meant by each statement.


Copyright April 4th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette


Leave a comment

Filed under Charlotte Mason, Westward Expansion