Lesson Four: Journey into the Unknown

Focus questions:

Imbedded Information in the Student Lesson:

Mandan Indian Village; Sacagawea; Fort Clatsop; Lewis and Clark Trail


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Lewis and Clark Evaluation Sheet

Classroom Activities:

     Review briefly what the students have already learned about the Louisiana Purchase and the reasons for the expedition. Present the entire Lewis and Clark Trail map and timeline to the class (it is now available to the students as a link on the last day). Ask the students to imagine what happened to Lewis and Clark at certain points after they left the Dakotas. Have the students write down some of their ideas, perhaps in their journals. Either read the information provided at each stop or have individuals read to the rest of the class. Ask the students to compare the ideas they wrote down with actual happenings on the journey. Is anything the same? What is different? Ask a few students to share their comparisons. Lead the class in a discussion about why the Lewis and Clark expedition is important. Students should understand which goals were met (following the Missouri River to its source, learning about the natural resources of the West, establishing friendly relationships that benefited trade with Indian peoples, and improving America’s claim to the Oregon country) and which was not (finding an all-water route to the Pacific) and why (it did not exist). They should also appreciate the long-term effects of the journey.