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Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase

Grade Level: History Grade 8
 
Estimated Duration of Lesson: Two days
 
Standards Addressed: 
            8 th Grade History
            Strand: History
            Topic: Expansion
            Content Statement: The United States added to its territory through treaties and purchases.
 
Summary of Lesson: President Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803. He employed Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore and claim this territory for the United States. This meant impressment upon the Native Americans the realization that the lands now belonged to the United States, and these peoples were to pay allegiance to the US; not France, Spain, nor England. 
 
            Students will explore via primary sources, the success of Lewis and Clark's expedition, and develop skills in analyzing documents and artifacts.
 
 
Primary Sources Used: 
           
1.      Jefferson's First Inaugural Address (Obtained from the Avalon Project at Yale Law School) 
 
2.        Louisiana Purchase Treaty  (Obtained from the Avalon Project at Yale Law School) 
 
Instructional Steps of Lesson:
 
Students take each primary document and answer the following questions:
 
Each document will have: 1. description questions, 2. interpretation questions, and 3. analysis questions.
 
 Formative Assessment:
 
Students choose one primary source to investigate. Students should answer each question to each of the three categories. Complete sentences are necessary.
 
Students should then give characteristics of the three levels of questions. Characteristics to be included must give a 1. definition, 2. specifics asked, and 3. an original example.

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