Grade 2History and Geography

Focus: As towns and cities along the East Coast grew, Americans began to look west. In this Grade 2 Core Knowledge History and Geography unit, students will see the new developments in transportation that helped make this happen. Canals, steamboats, wagon trains and, ultimately, the Transcontinental Railroad all took settlers west where they found new ways of living. The Gold Rush took them to California to mine for gold, and promises of new land to farm and wide open spaces, as well as jobs along the railroad, helped keep the settlers moving west.

Students will experience the great adventures on the new frontier, and see the courage of people like Daniel Boone and the riders of the Pony Express. They will discover the innovations of Robert Fulton and DeWitt Clinton. But they will also come to know of the negative impact of the westward movement, as the Native Americans who had lived on the land for centuries were forced to adjust, and often to move. Core Knowledge works to introduce students to difficult realities such as the Trail of Tears and the loss of great numbers of the American bison in an age appropriate manner, without shying away from the truth. 

Finally, they will learn about Sequoyah, and his creation of a system to make a written form of the Cherokee language.

Number of Lessons: 9

Additional Search Terms: informational text • nonfiction • Wilderness Road • Daniel Boone • Appalachian Mountains • Wilderness Road • flatboats • keelboat • steamboat • Robert Fulton • Clermont • Erie Canal • DeWitt Clinton • Oregon Trail • Great Plains • Rocky Mountains • Jedediah Smith • South Pass • wagon train • Gold Rush • forty-niners • Levi Strauss • Pony Express • telegraph • Transcontinental Railroad • Promontory Point • cowboys • Native Americans • Andrew Jackson • Trail of Tears • Cherokee • American bison • Sioux • Sequoyah

CKHG Grade Levels: CKHG units are correlated to topics at the grade levels specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence, which allows students in schools following the Sequence to build knowledge grade by grade. In other settings, individual CKHG units may be used as supplemental resources. In general, the content and presentation in the CKHG units for Grades K-2 are appropriate for students in the lower elementary grades. The Student Book is intended to be read aloud by the teacher as the students look at images on each page.

We have intentionally left the pacing and timing needed to teach the content presented in the Teacher Guide and Student Book very flexible. Teachers can choose how much they read aloud and discuss in a single instructional period, as well as how often each week they use the CKHG materials.

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