This lesson can be taught in 23 class periods.
The focus for younger students in Lewis & Clark is on exploration
and discovery. Students will get a brief overview of the Lewis
and Clark adventure, the significance of six selected discoveries,
and write a description of each object.
As homework the night before, have students bring in a box from
home. Any small box made of cardboard like a shoebox will do.
Print out several copies of the box
labels so students can pick their character.
Print the background article The Journey
Begins and introduce the Lewis & Clark adventure to your
students by reading the article aloud.
Discuss the article with students. Ask students why people want
to discover new lands and why is it still exciting today. Introduce
the idea that Lewis & Clark sent back discoveries to President
Thomas Jefferson, and explain that they will be making their own
discoveries and sending them back to their parents. (See Discussion
Ask students to take out the boxes they have brought from home,
and spend the rest of the class decorating their boxes with their
box labels and any other art material available.
For the second class period, print out the six objects available
Either print out these objects on a transparency for the class
to do as a whole or make a print of each object to pass out to
Go through each of the objects either on the transparency or
with the handouts, explain to students what the object is and
why it was new for Lewis & Clark. As a class, have students
come up with one sentence to describe the object and write that
sentence on the board. Have students copy that sentence onto their
printouts and put their printouts into their boxes. For older
students, you may want to allow students to each write their own
sentence about each object following your whole-class discussion.
Extend the Lesson
Are there Lewis and Clark activities happening in your neighborhood?
Look online at LewisandClarkEvents.com
to find out if you can go as a class to learn more about Lewis
& Clark in real life.
How has the United States changed since
Lewis and Clark’s time?
Why do people like to discover new
What are some of the differences in
how people travel today compared to 200 years ago?
What do you know about the land in
Does it have rivers, lakes, mountains, etc?
How could these landscapes affect Lewis and Clark?
Describe what Lewis and Clark would
have seen as they crossed the United States.