Lewis & Clark

Week 6:  Lewis & Clark


READ K – 3: A Picture Book of Lewis & Clark by David Adler

4 – 6: Lewis & Clark by Conrad Stein

7 – 8:  Lewis & Clark by George Sullivan OR As Far As the Eye Can Reach by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel




  • Who were the leaders of the Corps of Discovery? (Lewis & Clark)
  • What was the assignment of the Corps of Discovery? (to find a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean; to explore the land and find out about the animals and plants living there; to meet & establish friendly relationships with the Native Americans they met)
  • Who appointed Lewis to be captain of the mission? (Thomas Jefferson)
  • Just before the mission got under way, the United States bought a huge piece of land from the French – it doubled the size of the U.S.  What was this land called? (Louisiana Purchase)
  • What supplies did Lewis & Clark bring on their mission? (guns, ammunition, gifts for American Indians, a large keel boat, smaller boats)
  • What made Lewis & Clark such great leaders of the expedition? (strong, knew how to survive in the Wilderness, good friends, good judges of character, choose men to help them who could take orders, able to keep journals of the expedition, manage boats, Clark was able to draw pictures of the animals he saw)
  • What Indian woman joined their team? (Sacagawea)
  • Why? (to act as an interpreter)
  • How else did she help the expedition? (knew the land, knew what roots, fruits, and vegetables could be eaten, many Indian tribes did not want to attack their group when they saw a woman with a baby traveling with them)
  • Describe some of the dangers the Corps faced? (Snake bites, mosquitoes, ticks, grizzly bears, bad weather, bitter cold, ran out of food, had to climb over Rocky Mountains, some Indian tribes were unfriendly & dangerous, One member died of appendicitis.)

Questions for grades 5 – 8:

  • Who was York? (Clark’s slave)
  • Describe Indian the tribes’ reaction to him? (amazed by dark skin; thought he was painted)
  • Describe Lewis & Clark’s encounter with the Lakota Indians? (Also called Teton Sioux)? The chiefs felt they hadn’t been given enough presents and became insolent.  Warriors grabbed the canoes bowline and refused to let it go.  Clark drew his sword and it looked like there might be a fight, but the Indian Chief, Black Buffalo, grabbed the bowline from the warriors and released the boat.)
  • Describe some of the new creatures and sights the corps discovered? (Great Plains, immense herds of buffalo, prairie dogs, pronghorn antelope.)
  • Did they find the “Northwest passage”? (no)
  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses of each the following members of the Corps: Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, York, Charbonneau.  (Answers will vary but should include, strong, smart, could journal, Clark could draw, knew the land, knew how to find food, good planners, negotiators, manage boats, etc.)
  • How long did the trip take? (over 2 years)

 ACTIVITIES: K – 3:  Lewis & Clark coloring page: http://www.doverpublications.com/zb/samples/245578/teacher14d.htm

4 – 8:  Using the map on this website for help: http://beckerjj200.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/critique-1-lewis-and-clark-expedition/

And this blank map: http://www.eduplace.com/ss/maps/pdf/usphys.pdf , design your own map of Lewis & Clark’s route across the United States.  Make sure you clearly distinguish between their outward and homeward journeys (use different colors).  Also label the Missouri River, the Columbia River and the Yellowstone River.  Label St. Louis, Fort Mandan, & Fort Clatsop.  Label the Great Falls and the Rocky Mountains.   Create a key for your map.


Writing Assignment for Grades 4 – 8:  What do you think was the hardest part of Lewis & Clark’s journey? The problems with the Teton Sioux (Lakota) Indians, running out of food while traveling over the Rocky Mountains, being away from civilization for so long?  Something else?  Write a paragraph/short essay describing what you think would have been the most challenging part of the journey.


Copyright February 7th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette

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