For the longest time my teammates and I had a hard time finding informational, Westward Expansion books in a 2nd and 3rd grade reading level. Ones that students could read independently. There are a lot of great picture books out there about pioneers and topics related to westward movement and I use those as read-alouds. But it has been a bit of a struggle to find nonfiction books that my students can read on their own.
Then one summer at a conference I was talking to an author friend. I just happened to ask if she had written anything on these topics. It turns out she had just submitted a series for publication and in the reading level I was looking for!
A few months later these gems arrived with inscriptions inside. To say that I was thrilled and so grateful is an understatement!
Focus on Text Features
In addition to reading to learn about the Gold Rush, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Sacagawea, we also did an Oregon Trail themed focus on nonfiction text features.
Students created a text features trail by explaining and illustrating the features found in their books. You can see more of our westward expansion study here in this post and find the resource I used here.
Westward Expansion Books for 2nd and 3rd Grade
I’ve rounded up all of the books I use while teaching westward expansion during my literacy block. They are all available on Amazon and I’ve (affiliate) linked them below.
If you’re on of the many that have to embed most of your science and social studies into your literacy block, be sure to check out this post. See how I teach about westward expansion during my literacy block and incorporate writing, grammar, word work and reading comprehension. It’s easier than it seems!
I hope you’ve found some books you like when teaching about pioneers and westward expansion in your classroom! If you like this post why not share with your teacher friends? Go ahead and pin it on Pinterest or share on Facebook!
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