Tag Archives: Native Americans

Indians of the Plains & West

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Week 10: Indians of the Plains & of the West


Read K – 4: Read the information on this site: http://www.fasttrackteaching.com/burns/Unit_2_Westward/U2_Impact_on_Indians.html

5 – 8:  Do the following:


  • What animal did the Indians of the plains hunt? (buffalo)
  • What were reservations? (Confined areas for Indians)
  • T/F Most Indians were happy to move to reservations.  (F)
  • T/F The Government sent supplies of food and other things to reservations.  (T)
  • T/F Geronimo was a Native American who led a resistance to the reservation system.  (T)
  • What famous American general was killed against his battle with Sitting Bull (& Crazy Horse) at the battle of Little Bighorn? (General Custer)
  • T/F The Nez Perce Indians had a reputation for being a war-like tribe.  (F)
  • What was the name of the Chief of the Nez Perce Indians during the mid-late 1800’s? (Chief Joseph)
  • T/F When Americans fought against Indian tribes, they never killed women and children.  (F)
  • T/F  Many Indians were massacred at the battle of Wounded Knee.  (T)

Questions for Grades 5 – 8:

  • What was the “sacred possession” of each of the Plains’ Indians? (their horse)
  • What caused the flood of immigrants across the plains? (Homestead Act)
  • Name 2 Indian chiefs that strove for peace and didn’t fight? (Black Kettle & White Antelope)
  • Why did they give up their land? (to protect tribes of women, children, & elderly)
  • What happened to Black Kettle and White Antelope’s tribes? (most massacred by American troops while under the protection of the American government;  of the survivors most were annihilated 4 years later by General Custard.
  • Were Indians well fed on reservations? (no)
  • The American army killed what creature in mass during the 1800’s? (the Buffalo)
  • How did this affect the Indians of the plains? (angry, hungry, losing way of life)
  • What Indian chief successfully won the battle of the little Bighorn? (Crazy Horse)
  • During the Battle of Little Bighorn, what Indian chief stayed at camp to protect the women and children? (Sitting Bull)
  • After the attack Sitting Bull moved his tribe where? (to Canada)
  • Where did Crazy Horse take his tribe? (to the Black Hills)
  • Why did Crazy Horse later surrender? (to save his starving people)
  • How did Chief Joseph, leader of the Nez Perce, try to lead his people to safety? (tried to meet up with Sitting Bull in Canada)
  • Was he able to reach him? (No, American army attacked them when they were just one day away from Sitting Bull’s encampment.)
  • T/F Geronimo’s tribe was sent to a reservation. (F- sent to a prison in Florida)
  • What were reservations like? (Barren land, like concentration camps, lived in complete poverty)
  • Why were Indian children sent and often forced to go to boarding schools? (to assimilate them into white culture)
  • What affect did this have on Indian culture? (Children began to despise their own Indian tribes, families were separated unwillingly from their own children, Indian children were no longer allowed to speak in their native languages, wear native clothes, or eat their traditional food.  Boys bore the shame of having their long hair or braids cut.  When children returned home to tribes after being in school, they could not function well with their people.)


K – 2: Indians of the plains often lived in tepees.  Create your own teepee using these instructions and this template: http://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/People/paperteepee/paperteepee.html

3 – 4: Do the following:

5 – 6: Do the following:

7 – 8: Do the following:

Copyright April 20th, 2016 by Gwen Fredette



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Sitting Bull

Week 16: Sitting Bull


Read K – 3: A Picture Book of Sitting Bull by David Adler 

4 – 6: Sitting Bull by Susan Aller

7 – 8: Don’t Know Much About Sitting Bull by Kenneth Davis


  • What were the many ways Indians used buffalo? (ate meat, used skin to make clothes, tepees, blankets, used horns to make spoons and cups, made ropes and belts from hair)
  • Did Indians kill buffalo for fun? (no, only killed what they needed)
  • What was Sitting Bull’s name as a child? Why? (Slow; never seemed to be in a hurry)
  • How did he get the name Sitting Bull? (Hit a Crow Warrior and knocked the bow and arrow from his hand.)
  • Why was Sitting Bull angry with white settlers? (They killed millions of buffalo for sport; they traveled through their lands and built houses, towns, and forts on their land; they broke peace treaties they had made with his people.)
  • What were Reservations? (areas of land where Native Americans were being forced to relocate so white settlers could live in their land)
  • Did Sitting Bull want to live on the reservation? (no)
  • What happened to Native Americans who refused to move to reservations? (they had to face the U.S. military)
  • Who won the Battle of Little Bighorn? (Sitting Bull & the Native Americans)
  • What famous Colonel was killed? (Custer)
  • Why did Sitting Bull lead the Sioux tribe to Canada? (thought they would be safe there)
  • Why didn’t they stay in Canada? (not enough food; starving)
  • What famous show did Sitting Bull become a part of? (Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show)
  • Why was Sitting Bull killed? (The Sioux tribe performed a wild dance in the hopes of bringing back dead family and to bring herds of buffalo and floods to drown white enemies; Whites thought it was a war dance and killed Sitting Bull, his son and others.)

Questions for Grades 4 – 8:

  • How did the Lakota Sioux use Buffalo droppings? (fuel for fires)
  • What was the Pacific Railroad Act? (law that gave millions of acres of land to railroad companies for railroads and telegraph wires)
  • The Pacific Railroad act was signed into law in 1862. Who was president at this time? (Abraham Lincoln)
  • Who did this land belong to? (Native American tribes)
  • Why were whites hired to kill buffalo? (so Native Americans would not need to roam the plains any more and would have to live on the reservations; to feed the men working to build the railroad.)
  • How did the railroad affect the buffalo? (they were scared of it)
  •  Why were the Black Hills important to the Lakota Sioux? (Holy Mountains; they believed sacred spirits of their people lived there.)
  • Why were the Black Hills important to the government? (They believed gold was there.)
  • Did the government honor their treaty to stay out of the Great Sioux Reservation? (no; thousands of gold seekers rushed to the Black Hills.)
  • What happened to Native Americans who refused to move to reservations? (They were killed)
  • Could Native Americans hunt buffalo on reservations? (No)
  • How did they eat? (farmed; given food)
  • Did the Native Americans like the schools for their children? (no, kids were taught English; had to live away from home at school; had to dress like white settlers.)
  • What did Sitting Bull do with the money he earned from the Wild West Show? (used it to help his people and the poor)
  • Does the Lakota tribe still live on reservations? (Many still do.)

Activities: K – 2:  Draw your own picture of Sitting Bull. Underneath the picture write 3 sentences telling 3 things you learned about this great chief.
3 – 5: From this site: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/s/sitting_bull.html read many statements spoken by Sitting Bull. Choose 5 quotes and copy them onto a separate sheet of paper. Then, tell why you think they are famous.
6 – 8: Choose one of the following for a 5 paragraph, 3 proof essay topic:

  1. In what ways did the U.S. government wrong the Lakota Sioux tribe?
  2. In your opinion why was Sitting Bull such a great Indian chief?
  3. Describe how Indian reservations killed Native American culture.

Copyright April 29th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Native American History Early 1800’s (Tecumseh’s Rebellion)

Week 15: Native American History Early 1800’s (Tecumseh’s Rebellion)


VIEW K – 8: 500 Nations DVD (Episode 6 only)

Note: The subject matter in this DVD may be a bit hard for students in K – 3 to comprehend.  Feel free to skip this lesson for young children.  Also, this DVD is told from the perspective of Native Americans, many of whom were not Christians and thought little of missionaries. Consequently, in a small section in the beginning of this DVD, Christian missionaries are not painted in a positive light. (Native Americans felt that missionaries were trying to “force their religion on them”).  For older students this can be a great topic of discussion.  If you’d like to avoid this section of the video for younger students, you can start Episode 6 at chapter 4 “Tenskwatawa and Prophetstown”.


  • Feeling depressed over the loss of their land, what bad habit did many Native American men develop? (Alcoholism)
  • Who was Tecumseh? (Most powerful Indian leader of his time)
  • What tribe was he from? (Shawnee)
  • What message did he and his brother spread to Native American tribes? (Return to original, Native American ways; Indians must unite against the white man – must keep them out of the land by force; Native American life stood on the brink of disaster, Americans will not stop ‘till they have taken ALL of the land)
  • How did many Native Americans respond to Tecumseh’s message? (were drawn to hear him and follow his ways)
  • What was Prophetstown? (area where Tecumseh preached & Indians gathered to him)
  • Why did some Native Americans disagree with his message? (some wanted to join white society, others thought fighting against the whites was suicide)
  • Who destroyed Prophetstown? (future President William Henry Harrison while Tecumseh was gone)
  • How did the War of 1812 help Tecumseh? (Joined with British forces to push out Americans)
  • How did many Southern Indian tribes interact with Americans? (assimilated into white culture)
  • What did Sequoyah invent? (Cherokee written language)
  • Why did many Americans travel over the Cherokee border? (gold was found)
  • What was the Indian Removal Act? (Policy to move Indians westward to give whites their land)
  • Which President encouraged this policy? (Andrew Jackson)
  • What happened to the Indian tribes forced to move west? (many died along the way)
  • Who was John Ross? (Cherokee Chief)
  • When the Cherokee had to face Indian removal he took the matter to the Supreme Court. What did the Supreme Court say? (that the land belonged to the Cherokee; they should not be removed)
  • What did President Andrew Jackson say to the judges? (they must enforce the law themselves; he would not do it)
  • Who was Major Ridge and what did he do? (Without consent of Cherokee council, gave away Cherokee land in return for assistance traveling west)
  • What happened to Major Ridge? (assassinated)
  • What was the “Trail of Tears”? (Mass exodus of Cherokee people; many died along the way; much suffering and tears)

ACTIVITIES: K – 3:   Look at this picture of Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison:  http://www.shmoop.com/war-1812/photo-tecumseh-harrison.html

What do you imagine Tecumseh is saying to William Henry Harrison in this picture? Try to draw your own similar picture of Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison.  Write what you believe his words would have been under the picture.
4 – 8:   Using this website for help: http://www.mistergworld.com/12-002.htm create a chart (posterboard) about the first 12 American Presidents.   Include the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Thumbnail sized Photo (Print from this site: http://americanhistory.about.com/od/uspresidents/ig/Images-of-US-Presidents)
  3. Years in office
  4. Home state
  5. Land acquired to expand U.S. while in office — Include the following, putting them in the appropriate row for the appropriate president: Louisiana Purchase (1803), Florida (1819), Annexed Texas (1845), Oregon Territory (1846), Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas (officially), Utah, & western Colorado (1848)
  6. Significant events — Include the following, putting them in the appropriate row for the appropriate president: Bill of Rights (1791), Amistad (1839), Lewis & Clark (1805), War of 1812 (1812), Star Spangled Banner (1812), Erie Canal (1826), Eli Whitney & Cotton Gin (1794), and Trail of Tears (1838).
  7. (Optional) Map of U.S. at the time — Using this website for help: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~map/terr_hp.html print maps of the US and outlying territories during each president’s term.

Copyright April 11th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette

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Trail of Tears

Week 12: Trail of Tears


READ K – 5: Trail of Tears by Joseph Bruchac

6 – 8:  Only the Names Remain by Alex W. Bealer



  • In what state did the majority of the Cherokee live and have their capital in the early 1800’s? (Georgia)
  • Who was Sequoyah and what did he do? (Cherokee Indian, invented written Cherokee language)
  • What was the Cherokee Phoenix? (Cherokee newspaper written in Cherokee & English)
  • During the 1800’s to 1850’s how was the Cherokee  Nation different from many other Indian tribes? (built houses, children went to schools, many were wealthy plantation owners & farmers, lived and dressed like white men)
  • What was the Indian Removal Bill (Policy)? (Plan to move all Indian tribes west of the Mississippi)
  • Why did the Cherokee feel betrayed by Andrew Jackson? (Many had fought by his side in the War of 1812)
  • How did the discovery of gold in Georgia cause problems for the Cherokee? (Many white men came to their lands to get the gold)
  • Why did many Cherokee lose their homes? (White men came to take their land; government would not help them)
  • Who was John Ross? (Chief of Cherokee nation)
  • How did he try to help his people? (went to the Supreme Court to argue for the well-being of his people)
  • What did the Supreme court rule? (that the Cherokee nation should be protected; land should not be taken)
  • Who was in charge of enforcing the Court’s decision and what did he say? (President Andrew Jackson; said the Supreme Court would have to enforce the law themselves; he wouldn’t do it.)
  • How did a small group of Cherokee betray their people? (went to government without the approval of the Cherokee nation and agreed to give their land away)
  • What was the Trail of Tears? (Entire Cherokee Nation forced to travel west to Oklahoma during the winter months.  Had to leave their beloved home land.  Not enough  food or warm clothing.  Many got sick.  Thousands died along the way.)
  • What happened to John Ross’s (the Cherokee chief) wife? (died along the way.)
  • Who was Tsali? (Indian who fled with many Cherokee people to the Mountains of North Carolina.  He was killed.  But many of the people who fled survived there.  Their descendants still live in the Mountains of North Carolina.)
  • In what state(s) do most Cherokee live now? (Oklahoma/Arkansas.)

ACTIVITIES: K – 3: Listen to the Cherokee language being sung! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf1SdNyB-Wc   ; Then, draw your own picture of the Cherokee Nation moving west on the trail of tears.

4 – 5: Listen to the Cherokee language being sung! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf1SdNyB-Wc

Then, Using the information on this site for help, try to write your first and last name in Cherokee. http://www.native-languages.org/cherokee_names.htm

6 – 8:

  1. Listen to the Cherokee language being sung! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf1SdNyB-Wc
  2. Then, Using the information on this site for help, try to write your first and last name in Cherokee.  http://www.native-languages.org/cherokee_names.htm;
  3. Finally, do Trail of Tears worksheet (click here): trail of tears worksheet

Copyright March 21st, 2014 by Gwen Fredette

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War of 1812

Week 9: War of 1812


READ K – 5: The Battle for Saint Michaels by Emily McCully & Read “Note” below

6 – 8:  The War of 1812 by Rebecca Stefoff & Read “Note” below


Note: The Revolutionary War ended in 1783.  The United States was free of Great Britain’s control, but peace didn’t last.  Great Britain continued to frustrate the United States for many reasons:

  1. British soldiers refused to leave forts on U.S. soil.
  2. They armed Native Americans and encouraged them to attack American frontier settlements.   They allied with Indian chief Tecumseh and his brother.   Tecumseh’s aim was to unite all Native Americans against Americans.  (Native Americans were angry because their land was steadily being taken away by Americans.)
  3. British sea captains seized U.S. sailors and forced them to become sailors on their own ships.
  4. Both Britain and France tried to block American ships from reaching their rival’s ports.   They hoped to prevent each other from receiving American products.

 Congress declared war on Great Britain in 1812.  James Madison was President at the time.  The U.S. had many weaknesses:

  1. Untrained, new soldiers
  2. Old generals (out of practice)
  3. Small navy
  4. Many Americans were against the war

 Many of the battles were fought in Canada.  British soldiers had the help of Tecumseh and his Native American followers.  Many battles were fought at sea.  Great Britain blocked the East Coast with their ships.  They also burned the government buildings in Washington D.C.    However, U.S. forces were very successful during battles in Canada and Baltimore.  Its navy was small, but some of its ships were among the fastest at the time and were successful in sea battles.  Finally British and American government officials decided to try to end the war by written agreement rather than victory.  It was becoming too costly.  The Treaty of Ghent was signed in December 1814 ending the war, but because information traveled so slowly back then, word did not reach the soldiers until a few months later.  Meanwhile soldiers on both sides continued to battle.  The Americans won a major battle in New Orleans in January of 1815.  Congress did not approve the Treaty of Ghent until February of 1815.


 Neither country earned more land from the Treaty, although the British stopped impressing sailors.  British in Canada stopped supporting Native Americans, who lost more land, great leaders, and many lives.  Two American generals, William Henry Harrison, and Andrew Jackson, played important parts in the War of 1812 and eventually became U.S. Presidents.  The U.S. lost many American lives but won respect worldwide as a powerful nation.



  • In what year did the War of 1812 begin? (1812)
  • Why did America declare War on Great Britain? (Britain was arming Native Americans and encouraging them to attack Americans, they wouldn’t leave old forts, they were impressing American sailors into service, they were blocking our ships from trading.)
  • Who was President during the War of 1812? (Madison)
  • What great American city had many of its buildings burned? (Washington D.C.)
  • T/F All the battles were fought on U.S. soil.  (False, many fought in Canada and at sea)
  • What great Indian leader fought against the U.S? (Tecumseh)
  • What were some of the U.S.’s weaknesses? (untrained new soldiers, old generals, small navy, not all Americans supported the war)
  • T/F The war ended because the U.S. won all the major battles. (False; leaders got together and peacefully planned to end the war)
  • Why were battles still fought after the Peace Treaty was signed? (information travelled very slowly back then)
  • Who was hurt the most during the war? (Native Americans – lost many lives and more land)
  • What two American generals of the War of 1812 later became president? (William Henry Harrison & Andrew Jackson)


ACTIVITIES: K – 3: Click Here: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/h74000/h74523.jpg and print this picture. It is an image of the USS Hornet battling the British ship, the HMS Penguin during the War of 1812.  Have fun coloring the picture.

4 – 5:  Print out this map:  http://filebox.vt.edu/users/bgilkers/digitaltimeline/war1812.htm

It lists the major battles of the War of 1812.   Use it to complete the War of 1812 Worksheet by clicking here: worksheet war of 1812(word doc) or here:  worksheet war of 1812 (pdf) Answers to the worksheet questions are listed below in parentheses.

  1. In what year(s) were most of the major battles fought? (1813; 1814)
  2. Where were most of the major battles fought? (northern states; southern Canada)
  3. Near what lakes were most the major battles fought? (Great Lakes)
  4. Name three forts listed on the map. (Ft. Dearborn, Ft. McHenry, Ft. Michilimackinac)
  5. What major battle was fought in the South? (New Orleans)
  6. In what year was the last major battle fought? (1815)

6 – 8: Click on this link and print out pages 3 – 5 of this lesson plan.  http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/education/pdf/Gr7_1812_Advantage.pdf

Cut out the fact cards on pages 3 and 4.  Then, arrange each fact card under the appropriate column on the page 5 “Who Has the Advantage?” chart.


Copyright February 28th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette


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Sacagawea (Sacajawea)

Week 7:  Sacagawea (Sacajawea)

READ K – 3: Sacajawea by Joyce Milton

 4 – 6: Sacagawea by Lise Erdrich

7 – 8:  Sacagawea by Judith St. George



  • What Indian tribe was Sacagawea from? (Shoshone)
  • What happened to her when she was little?  Why was she living with the Mandan? (kidnapped by a Hidatsa warrior and taken to live with them)
  • Who was Charbonneau? (French fur trader, became Sacajawea’s husband)
  • Why did Charbonneau & Sacajawea travel with Lewis & Clark? (to act as translators)
  • What was Sacajawea’s baby called by the Corps? (Pomp)
  • How did she carry him? (on a cradleboard on her back)
  • How did Sacajawea help the expedition? (saved boxes of supplies that had fallen in the river, dug up edible roots to eat, translated, helped them find their way across the territory, acted as a sign of “peace” by traveling as the only woman on an all-man expedition, Indian tribes did not want to attack when the saw a woman and her baby with the group.)
  • When Sacajawea returned to her old Shoshone tribe, who was Indian chief? (her brother)
  • Why did the corps need horses? (to get over Rocky Mountains)
  • Where did the corps travel to? (Pacific Ocean)
  • What was on the beach? (dead whale)
  • How did Clark feel about Pomp? (cared for him, offered to adopt him and send him to school.  Sacajawea said no, he was too young)
  • What happened to Sacajawea after the return trip? (Some say she died of a fever, others think she left Charbonneau and went back to the Shoshone and lived to be very old)

 Activities: K – 2: This is a coloring page of our golden dollar.  Whose picture is on it? Have fun coloring it in! http://www.usmint.gov/kids/coinnews/circulating/dollarCoin_2002.pdf

3 – 5:  It must have been hard for Sacajawea to leave her brother and the Shoshone tribe to continue on with the Corps to the Pacific Ocean.  Pretend you are Sacajawea.  What would you say to your brother when you were leaving?  What do you think he said to her in reply?  Write a dialogue.

6 – 8: Which member of the Corps of Discovery was the most important person to the group’s success? Why? (Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, or York?)  Write a 5 paragraph 3 proof essay.


Copyright February 15th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette

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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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