Setting up the Activity in your Classroom:

Depending on the grade level and maturity level of each class, activities can be facilitated as independent work, collaborative group work, or whole class instruction.

If a computer is available for each student, guide students to the activities either through printed URLs on handouts or on the board.

If you are working in a lab, set up the computers to be on the desired Web site as students walk into class. If there are fewer computers than students, group the students by reading level. Assign each student a role: a “driver” who navigates the web, a timer who keeps the group on task, and a note taker. If there are more than three students per computer, you can add roles like a team leader, a team reporter, etc.

If you are working in a learning station in your classroom, break out your class into different groups. Have rotating groups working on the computer (s), reading printed background information, holding smaller group discussions, writing first drafts of their journals or specimen box offline, etc. Details described further in the Teaching sections.

You may also want to create a special display for your classroom library in honor of Lewis and Clark. Check out our Recommended Booklist for suggested print materials. Include room for the specimen boxes that your students will create through the activity.

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Stimulate Background Knowledge with these related links:

Introduction to Lewis and Clark Among the Indians of the Pacific Northwest Curriculum Packet
This teacher-centered website includes background information, lesson activities, journal excerpts, a bibliography, and related links.

Rivers, Edens, Empires: Lewis & Clark and the Revealing of America
This Library of Congress site has a variety of images from the letter President Thomas Jefferson sent to Meriwether Lewis in 1803 to maps drawn by Lewis and Clark.

Go West Across America with Lewis & Clark
This fun site is focused on the student user. As a game, the user is asked to make decisions along the trail while reading excerpts from journals and fun, interesting facts about the journey. For a more serious, and content rich site from National Geographic on Lewis and Clark, visit

Lewis and Clark as Naturalists
Created by the Smithsonian National Museum on Natural History, this interactive map allows users to relate the geography with the plants and animals encountered along the trail.

The Ethnography of Lewis and Clark: Native American Objects and the American Quest for Commerce and Science
The Peabody Museum presents this website that explores the Native American people encountered by Lewis and Clark as well as the Native American objects collected by the Corps of Discovery and sent back to President Jefferson.

Lewis & Clark: Maps of Exploration, 1507-1814
The University of Virginia’s library presents this exhibit of the Lewis and Clark journey and the maps they created on that journey west.

PBS Online – Lewis and Clark
As an accompaniment Web site to their documentary, this PBS site has rich content on the members of the Corps of Discovery, the Native American tribes encountered on the journey, classroom resources, and more.

Lifelong Learning Online: The Lewis & Clark Rediscovery Project
This interactive map presents different aspects of the expedition, the culture, the people, the geography, and nature of the expedition.

Sierra Club – In the Footsteps of Lewis & Clark
The daily journals of Lewis and Clark present an excerpt from a journal entry written two hundred years ago today.

Ask Seaman
For questions about the journey, allows users to send emails to Seaman, Lewis’s Newfoundland dog, who accompanied his master on the trail.

Monticello – Jefferson’s West
President Jefferson’s home, now a museum, presents Jefferson’s interests and influences in the journey to the Pacific.

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Graphic Organizer:

Timeline Skill Sheet: Grades 2–8
This blank timeline (PDF) helps students organize information about the events of the journey. The lesson culminates with a visual timeline of all the events following the Lewis and Clark journey. See Assessment and Evaluation.

Some of the resources on this page are in PDF format. To download them, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader Software.

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