The American West
Media Center Resources
Duncan, D. (1996). Peoples of the west. Boston, MA, Little, Brown & Co.
Call Tag: 920 DUN
Tells the stories of fifteen men and women whose individual experiences provide a representative picture of life during the formative years of the American West.
Hermes, P. (2001). Westward to home. New York, Scholastic.
Call Tag: F HEM
In 1848, nine-year-old Joshua Martin McCullough writes a journal of his family's journey from Missouri to Oregon in a covered wagon. Includes a historical note about westward migration.
Hicks, P. (2002). You wouldn’t want to live in a wild west town!: Dust you’d rather not settle. New
York: F. Watts.
Call Tag: 978 HIC
Looks through the eyes of the fictional marshal of an imaginary town called Dustville to show what life was like on the Great Plains just after the Civil War.
MacBride, R. L., Ed. (1976). West from home: Letters of Laura Ingles Wilder to Almonzo Wilder;
San Francisco, 1915. New York: Harper & Row.
Call Tag: B WIL
A selection of letters by Laura Ingalls Wilder to her husband in which she describes the highlights of her visit to the west coast in 1915.
Markel, R. J. (2004). Your travel guide to America’s old west. Minneapolis, MN : Lerner
Call Tag: 917 MAR
Takes readers on a journey back in time in order to experience life in the American West in the 1800s, describing clothing, accommodations, foods, local customs, transportation, a few notable personalities, and more.
McGowen, T. (1998). African-Americans in the old west. New York: Children's’ Press.
Call Tag: 978 MCG
Describes the important role of freed slaves and other African-Americans in the settlement of the West.
Miller, B. M. (1995). Buffalo gals: Women of the old west. Minneapolis, MN : Lerner Publications.
Call Tag: 978 MI
Text and photographs tell the story of pioneer women: schoolmarms, ranchers, shopkeepers, doctors, mail-order brides, as well as, Native American women.
Murphy, J. (1998). West to a land of plenty. New York: Scholastic.
Call Tag: F MUR
While traveling in 1883 with her Italian-American family (including a meddlesome little sister) and other immigrant pioneers to a utopian community in Idaho, fourteen-year-old Teresa keeps a diary of her experiences along the way.
Randolph, R. R. (2003). Following the great herds: The Plains Indians and the American buffalo.
New York: PowerKids Press.
Call Tag: 639 RA
Details the effects of westward expansion on the Plains Indian Nations who followed the seasonal migrations of buffalo herds.
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United States history. (2017). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from
Click on “Growth of a Nation”
Article Level 1 is Lexile 1000
Article Level 2 is Lexile 1030
Manifest Destiny. (2017). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://school.eb.com.proxygsu-sric.galileo.usg.edu/levels/elementary/article/Manifest-Destiny/353420
Article Level 1 is Lexile 1210
Article Level 2 is Lexile 1700
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Colman Communications, 2017. Wagon Train. [Full Video]. Available from http://www.discoveryeducation.com
Join talking dog Mr. Beanbody and his friends as they learn about the long journeys taken by pioneers in the United States in the middle of the 1800s. Pioneers traveled in groups of covered wagons as they journeyed over 2,000 miles to begin new lives in the western part of the country. The program provides information on the supplies required for the long voyage and what daily life was like for the wagon train. Details are also provided about hazardous river and mountain crossings. The program concludes with a video quiz.
Includes a teacher’s guide.
Total Running Time: 17.32
Includes 4 video segments:
The Journey West 3:40
Daily Life and Supplies 4:50
Forts and Mountain Crossing 4:31
Conclusion and Quiz 3:08
100% Educational Videos, 2001. The Expedition of Lewis and Clark: 1804-1806. [Full Video]. Available from http://www.discoveryeducation.com
Witness Lewis and Clark's exploration of the West, complete with diary excerpts, encounters with Native Americans, the beautiful and threatening landscape, and a summary of their objectives and accomplishments.
Includes a Teacher’s Guide
Total Run Time 16:00
Includes 10 video segments
Introduction: The Expedition of Lewis and Clark 1:23
The West 1:11
Meriwether Lewis 1:38
Along the Route 1:00
Sacagawea and Nez Perce 1:40
Staying the Winter 1:32
The Journey Home :40
Back at Home 1:05
100% Educational Videos, 1998. The Oregon Trail. [Full Video]. Available from http://www.discoveryeducation.com
Discover why thousands of Americans left their homes in the East to endure months of hardship to settle in the West. Learn about the special challenges of the trip, as well as the day-to-day routine, via re-enactments of the entire trip on the wagon train between Missouri and the West Coast.
Includes a Teacher’s Guide
Total Running Time 16:00
Includes 8 video segments
The Story Begins 1:08
Manifest Destiny 1:12
Reasons to Head West 1:23
Getting There 2:24
Life on the Trail 3:16