Studying the Lewis and Clark Expedition

We started with chapter 32 in The Story of the World, Volume 3.  Then we mapped the Louisiana Purchase on the map and colored a picture of Sacagawea from the Activity Guide

Together we read through several books, including The Crossing, A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark, and The Lewis and Clark Expedition.  The children narrated and summarized.  They answered some questions and asked plenty more. 

We perused through a binder of information friends gave us.  It included a printed copy of a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis, a roster of the people on the expedition, and various articles about the journey. 

Using the computer, we looked at Edgar Samuel Paxson's painting of Sacagawea.  Then we checked out this site: Discovering Lewis & Clark

Finally, we also took the time to watch a documentary streamed from our Netflix account.  It was called Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West, by National Geography.  This resource had a few opposing facts to what we found in our reading.  When this happens, it is a good chance to discuss information sources and how to discern opinions guised as facts.

Our oldest was assigned a report.  He chose to focus on the various travel methods used in the journey.  As he also had a large science experiment to finish for science, I cut him a slight break and gave him some extra time to finish his Lewis and Clark report.  Don't you just love the flexibility of homeschooling?

Resource Books:
Animals on the Trail with Lewis and Clark, by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent* - This book is a resource indeed!  Filled with information on various animals encountered by Lewis and Clark as well as tidbits about their journeys, the book is perfect accompaniment to any Lewis and Clark study.  There is even a table outlining and dating chronologically when and where Lewis and Clark first saw each animal.  Honestly, the possibilities for structured lessons using this book span science, history, and geography.  We happened to use it more for interest led studies and allowed our children to freely explore it.

The Lewis and Clark Trail: Then and Now, by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent* - Another fascinating find by Patent.  This book includes maps, images of historical paintings, and photographs by William Munoz.  Basically, the book is set up in two facing page sections, similar to an Usborne book, but meatier in content.  A few of the sections are "Equipment and Supplies," "The Bitterroot Valley," and "Living with the Nez Perce."  The book would lend itself well to the outlining activities often suggested by Susan Wise Bauer in The Well Trained Mind.  However, we used it more as a reference book, reading the sections we found interesting and skipping those we didn't.

Picture Books:
Lewis and Clark: Explorers of the American West, by Steven Kroll*
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, by John Perritano*
A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark, by David A. Adler*
Sacagawea, by Lise Erdrich*
Seaman's Journal: On the Trail with Lewis and Clark, by Patricia Reeder Eubank
The Crossing, by Donna Jo Napoli*
Lewis and Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President, by Shirley Raye Redmond

Chapter Books:
The Incredible Journey of Lewis & Clark, by Rhoda Blumberg
The Lewis and Clark Expedition, by Richard L. Neuberger
As Far As the Eye Can Reach, by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel*
The Journals of Lewis and Clark, by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, edited by John Bakeless

*Books we found at our local library.


  1. Sounds like a thorough unit! Thanks for sharing it with Look What We Did :)

  2. looks like some great resources - we used Skulpey clay and formed the characters and a couple of canoes - we made a diarama in a box - we painted a river and mountains on the box and put our Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea figures in the boats - we talked about what we'd learned while we made it of course! Enjoy! from Look What we did

    1. Great idea, Kelli! Thanks for sharing it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...