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Westward Bound – Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio

Component ID: #ti1722241388

Activity Description

Westward Bound

In this activity, students will learn about population movement, migration trends, and the westward expansion of the early 1800s. First, students will create a line graph that depicts changes in aggregated population data from 1800 to 1850 for Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio. Using this graph, students will make data comparisons and draw conclusions. Next, students will compare the populations of several states between 1790 and 1850 and make conclusions that demonstrate their understanding of population trends in northern and southern states. This activity can spark discussion of sectionalism, slavery, and the different economic climate that took shape in the northern and southern states in the early 1800s.

Component ID: #ti1511561915

Suggested Grade Level


Component ID: #ti1511561914

Approximate Time Required

60-75 Minutes

Component ID: #ti1511561913

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to explain population movement, migration trends, and the westward expansion of the early 1800s.
  • Students will be able to draw conclusions about the economic differences between northern and southern states.

Component ID: #ti1511561912

Materials Required

  • The student version of this activity, 5 pages
  • An atlas is optional.

Component ID: #ti1511561911

Activity Items

The following items are a part of this activity.

  • Population Growth in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio, 1800–1850
  • Population of the United States and Each State, 1790–1850

Teacher Notes

Blooms Taxonomy

Blooms Taxonomy

Students will analyze population changes and make determinations about the U.S. population’s move west.


Middle School History


  • Population change
  • Westward expansion

Skills Taught

  • Analyzing historical records
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Drawing conclusions
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