Manifest Destiny Comprehensive Unit: Interactive Slides, Student Questions, & Primary Source



Teach your students about westward expansion and Manifest Destiny in American history! This lesson will teach students about the origins of the phrase “Manifest Destiny” and about the conflicts between the United States and the many Native American tribes (including the Comanche). It will also delve into the Texas Revolution and later Mexican American War.

To make the lesson more interactive, there are two slides with primary sources. One of the slides includes a historical cartoon with questions in the notes. To avoid one long lecture, you could use this slide to get students into groups to answer the questions. It divides the class up nicely.

This is a useful PowerPoint (or Google Slides) you can use to present to your class or give to them to study on their own (students could read the slides and the notes). The design is professional and with the right amount of words on each slide (i.e. NO death by PowerPoint). The content is very detailed in the notes, so if you are busy, you can simply open the slides in front of the class and read the notes (it is suggested you review the slides before class though). Furthermore, it includes a guide sheet that you can print and use when presenting. The information in the guide sheet and PPT notes include additional information that is not on the slides. This way, the teacher can add interesting little comments or data to each slide. You can either print the whole guide sheet, or just the pages you need help with.

You can make changes to the PPT, if you deem it necessary. This presentation can be used in Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides (if you want to use Google Slides, just click the link on the provided file).

Content in PPT includes:

  • Manifest Destiny
  • Young America Movement
  • Western Migration
  • Indian Removal Act
  • Trail of Tears
  • Seminole Wars
  • Blackhawk Wars
  • Comanche
  • Cynthia Ann Parker
  • Mexican War of Independence
  • Mexico Texas
  • Texas Revolution
  • Annexation of Texas
  • Mexican American War
  • James Polk
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
  • Gold Rush
  • and more!

This presentations touches on all of the above topics and adds more detail. Students will understand how the United States developed rapidly in the 1800s and expanded across the continent.

This PPT follows standard American history textbooks.

How to use this product:

  • Present the PowerPoint (or Google Slides) in the classroom; one slide includes an interactive activity for students to complete
  • Present the Google Slides via Zoom (if distance learning)
  • Present and discuss – while presenting, get students involved and create discussion questions that get students thinking like a historian and comparing historical events to current events. Some discussion questions are included in some of the slides.
  • Print presentation with notes and let students read the slides (and notes)
  • Alternatively: have students view the slides, and they present the material in groups

How to use the historical interactive activity:
One slide has a primary source that is an interactive activity. This makes the class more interactive. Here is the suggested use:

  • Have students view the cartoon (it can be viewed on the slide, but you could print the slide for students)
  • Put the students in pairs
  • Ask the provided questions (questions can be found in the notes of the PPT or in the Guide Sheet)
  • Alternatively, you could print the questions on small slips and hand them out
  • Discuss the answers as a class (suggested answers are provided)

Additional information

Grade Level

8th, 9th, 10th

Resource Types

Full Units, Homeschool, PowerPoints, Google Slides


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