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Lewis and Clark Expedition, Grades K-5

Lessons, Activities & Resources Examine the First Transcontinental Journey to the Pacific Coast

 Found Inlanguage arts, social studies, preK-2, 3-5

Lesson Plans

Lewis and Clark: American Explorers
Students in grades K-3 learn about the Lewis & Clark Expedition and complete a map showing the route traveled.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition Teacher Activity Guide (PDF icon PDF, 361 KB, 24 pgs.) | National Park Service

  • Cooperative Learning Map Activity
    Students in grades 3-5 work with partners to draw a basic neighborhood map, indicating their houses and special landmarks and including a map legend.
  • Dugouts, Keelboats, and Horses
    Students in grades 3-5 work in small groups to complete a K-W-L-S analysis of modes of transportation used by the Corps of Discovery.

Trade and Property
In this unit, students in grades 4-6 use primary and secondary resources to understand successful trade interactions between the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Chinook tribes. In a culminating project, they apply their understanding of trade concepts to design a product that offers advice to traders who follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark.

Plants
In this unit, students in grades 4-6 learn how Lewis and Clark and American Indians used plants to cure and heal, discover how many products we use today derive from plants, and create simple herbal remedies. In a culminating project, they create a medicine box or bag from plants.

The Lewis & Clark Expedition: Documenting the Uncharted Northwest
Students in grades 5-12 describe some of the challenges and successes that the Corps of Discovery experienced at various stages of its journey and explain the historical implications of the Louisiana Purchase.

Additional Lesson Plans

Activities

Newspaper in Education : Lewis & Clark
This program tracks the expedition's adventures in each state visited and takes a detailed look at their discoveries. Students will be able to read journal entries as they were written during the course of the expedition.

 

National Geographic: Lewis & Clark
An interactive journey log, timeline, discoveries, supplies, and more

Lewis & Clark
Experience westward expansion with explorers Lewis & Clark and start your own adventures!

Lewis and Clark: Into the Unknown | PBS
In this interactive, students lead the expedition into the unknown heart of North America.

Lewis & Clark Cyberhunt
Learn about the Lewis & Clark expedition while exploring the web.

Background Resources

Lewis & Clark Journal

The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Searchable full-text (almost five thousand pages) of the journals. Also included are a gallery of images, important supplemental texts, and audio files of selected passages plus Native American perspectives. Designed as a tool for scholars and an engaging website for the general public.

National Geographic: Lewis & Clark — Journey Log
Follow the expedition via journal entries and historical photos, drawings, and maps.

The Trail Route

Lewis and Clark Expedition, A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
Explore the historic places of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. A printer friendly version with text and maps is available.

Trailtribes.org
History with a tribal perspective, along trails followed by Lewis & Clark
Click on a name of a tribe or tribal group to explore culture and history.

Follow in the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark - Sierra Club
Compare the Lewis & Clark Trail then and now.

Exhibitions

Rivers, Edens, Empires: Lewis & Clark and the Revealing of America (Library
of Congress Exhibition)
The exhibition features the Library's collections of exploration material documenting the quest to connect the East and the West by means of a waterway passage. Virtual tour and animations have been recently added.

Lewis & Clark: Mapping the West
This site sets the historical stage, features online access to Lewis & Clark maps and other primary resources, and provides related activities and lesson plans.

Newberry Library: Lewis and Clark Exhibition
This website explores how the United States and Indian peoples along the expedition route, came together two hundred years ago and how they remain intertwined today.

Other

Discovering Lewis & Clark
This comprehensive site includes essays on celestial navigation used by Lewis & Clark.

Lewis and Clark | PBS
Companion guide to the Ken Burn’s film.

Lewis & Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition
Take a virtual journey with Lewis & Clark.

Maps

Games, Printables, Videos

Games

Go West across America with Lewis and Clark Game

Printables

Video

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