Westward Expansion Narrative Nonfiction Interview Writing Unit Distance Learning


Subject: U.S. History, Writing, Informational Text
Grade Levels: 4th, 5th, 6th, Homeschool
Resource Type:
File Type:
File Size: 5 MB
Number of Pages: 29
Answer Key: Rubric Only
Teaching Duration: 2 Weeks


Westward Expansion Narrative Nonfiction Interview Research & Writing Unit (PDF & Google Slides)

In this integrated unit, students select a person from the Westward Expansion time period to research. After the research is completed, student partners plan and write an interview with their selected person.

The unit meets standards for informational reading, research & narrative writing, speaking & listening, and westward expansion in social studies.

This is a complete unit that includes everything needed for students to organize their research and presentation (except materials such as sources, index cards, etc). The unit comes in both PDF and Google Slides formats.


Teachers introduce the research project and the class completes a mini-lesson on Comparing Genres (Historical Fiction, Narrative Nonfiction, & Nonfiction), then students select an issue to person to research with a partner.

If needed, teachers use the included mini-lessons on taking research notes and writing a bibliography.

After completing the research, teachers can have students plan their interview between an interviewer and their historical person using the Planning the Interview page.

Students can use the included Western Colloquialisms resource pages to edit their interviews to add depth and interest to the person speaking (if appropriate to the person). Teachers could also use this activity as an extension.

Other resources are included: student project checklist, social studies rubric, presentation rubric, and narrative writing rubric.


Everything needed to publish an editorial is included – just print and go! This resource includes:

Suggested Lesson Plans, including suggested ways to differentiate activities
Suggested Standards Covered
Anchor Chart (printable pieces) for Comparing Genres
Student Anchor Chart Page for Comparing Genres
Project Direction Pages
Project Sign Up Page
Taking Notes Mini-Lesson
Bibliography Mini-Lesson
Planning the Interview Page
Western Colloquialisms Pages
Student Final Project Checklist
Narrative Writing Rubric
Social Studies Rubric
Presentation Rubric
The length this unit takes will depend upon how long students take to research and write their interviews. Teachers may also choose to have students perform or record their interviews. I estimate up to 10 periods of 30 minute sessions.

Teachers should adapt this project as needed to fit their grade level and student ability-levels.


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