Our Louisiana Purchase lesson plan introduces students to the Louisiana Purchase which became significant for the westward expansion of the United States. Many of the students may be familiar with the westward expansion, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the Gold Rush, but may not be fully aware of how the Louisiana Purchase is related to those events. Teachers are encouraged to use before and after maps in order to display the growth of the U.S. during the 1800s. During this lesson, students are asked to fill in a map with different colors used for different things (the area included in the Louisiana Purchase, the Mississippi River, the 13 original colonies, and more) in order to demonstrate their understanding of the geography involved in this lesson. Students are also asked to match historical figures to their ideas or opinions about the Louisiana Purchase.
At the end of the lesson, students will be able to define the Louisiana Purchase, identify key facts and figures related to the purchase, and describe its impact on the United States.