Myth of the West: Activity Pack


The American West is a time both in history and in myth. Outlaws and sheriffs, cowboys and Indians, wide-open plains with herds of buffalo and tumbling tumbleweeds: these are the iconic images of the Old West. These lesson plans are based on History Detectives episodes which examine artifacts that encapsulate the spirit of the American West.


Lesson Plans

Kit Carson to the Rescue: Separating Myth and Reality
Students learn about Kit Carson, a famous frontiersman from the 1800s. They then sift through a series of statements about Kit Carson to untangle fact and myth.

The Battle of the Washita: Examining the Conflicts Between Rhetoric and Reality
Students learn about The Battle of the Washita, part of the Indian Wars, then analyze narratives of the Indian Wars by examining artifacts that demonstrate the reality and the rhetoric of Manifest Destiny.

Lonely But Free I’ll Be Found: Analyzing The Cultural Importance of The West
Students learn about Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers, a Western singing group famous for the song “Tumbling Tumbleweeds.” They then discuss how and why a mythologized version of the American West was so prominent during the Depression.


Related Reproducibles



These lessons are aligned to the Common Core Standards for History/Social Studies and the National Standards for History.