Matters of Education

Learning Happens Everywhere

Louisiana Purchase, 9-12

Length of Time:   One class period


By 1800, the young nation was growing quickly. Its new President, Thomas Jefferson represented this growth in many ways. He was the voice of the Western farmer whom he believed would be the foundation of this new nation. But to acquire the dignity and virtue necessary to participate in this great republican experiment, land was needed. So when the opportunity to double the physical land mass presented itself, Jefferson, despite his reservations about Constitutional authority and the impact of all of that land of the fate of slavery, agreed to the terms of sale.

Essential Questions

What were the Constitutional ramifications of the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory?
How did these dilemmas affect Jefferson's actions?

Common Core Standards

English/Language Arts Standards: Anchor Standards: CCRS Reading

Key Ideas and Details

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.


Craft and Structure

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

Reading: Informational Text, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, 9-12

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.9 Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.9 Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

Content Standards