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Live with Lewis and Clark!

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Summary

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the chronology of major events in the Corps of Discovery’s westward journey, including the goals of the expedition, the composition of the Corps, the modes of travel, the route, the interactions with American Indians, and the obstacles faced. Students will locate and evaluate potential sources of information, gather and synthesize information, and create a new product. Students will identify primary sources.

Coin Type(s)

  • Nickel

Coin Program(s)

  • Westward Journey Nickel Series

Objectives

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the chronology of major events in the Corps of Discovery’s westward journey.
  • They will explore the goals of the expedition, the composition of the Corps, the modes of travel, the route, the interactions with American Indians, and the obstacles faced.
  • Students will locate and evaluate potential sources of information, gather and synthesize information, and create a new product. Students will identify primary sources.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Grades

  • Seventh grade
  • Eighth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • 19th century United States history including:
    • The Corps of Discovery
    • The Louisiana Purchase
    • Thomas Jefferson
  • Cooperative learning strategies

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Meriwether Lewis
  • Reverse (back)
  • William Clark
  • Bicentennial
  • Sacagawea
  • Chronology
  • York
  • Primary source

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector
  • Copies of the worksheets attached to this lesson plan (see “Preparations”)
  • 1 copy of the Westward Journey Nickel Series™ Resource Guide (available at www.usmint.gov/kids)
  • Blank overhead transparencies
  • A computer lab with Internet access
  • Web sites that include information about Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery (see “Preparations”)
  • Colored pencils, markers
  • Drawing paper
  • Glue or tape

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following:
    • “Westward Journey Nickel Series™” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Louisiana Territory Map” from the Resource Guide (1 per student)
    • “Documenting the Journey Rubric” (1 per student)
    • “Milestones from the Journey Project Options List” (1 per student)
    • “Documenting the Journey Research Organizer” (2 per student)
    • “Documenting the Journey Project Planner” (1 per 6 students)
  • Make overhead transparencies of the following:
    • “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet
    • “Documenting the Journey Rubric”
    • “Milestones from the Journey Project Options List”
    • “Documenting the Journey Research Organizer”
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab.
  • Bookmark Web sites that include information about Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery, such as:

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/193.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Display the “Westward Journey Nickel Series™” overhead transparency. Distribute one “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet to each student.
  2. Explain to the students that the United States Mint is producing the Westward Journey Nickel Series in honor of the bicentennial anniversary of the Corps of Discovery. Ensure that the students understand that a bicentennial is a 200-year anniversary. Tell the students that the “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet contains images of several of the nickels from the Westward Journey Nickel Series.
  3. Ask the students to think about the coins they see every day. Explain to the students that the obverse is the front of a coin and that the reverse is the back. Ask them to recall the features that they generally see on the obverse of the coins they often see. Guide the students to list the following:
    • The motto “In God WeTrust”
    • The word “Liberty”
    • The date the coin was minted
    • The mint mark signifying whether the coin was minted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (P), or Denver, Colorado (D).
  4. Ask the students to look at the images on the “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet. Ask them to look for similarities between the three coin reverse images. Guide the students to the conclusion that all three images contain:Tell the students that these features are required by law to appear on every coin.
    • The Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum,” which is translated as “out of many, one”
    • The coin’s denomination
    • The phrase “United States of America”
  5. Tell the students that, now that they have identified similarities between the coins, they will now discover what makes each of these coins unique. Ask the students to begin the worksheet by recording what they see in each nickel’s design that may relate to the Corps of Discovery. Ask the students to hypothesize why each image was selected and its relationship to the Corps of Discovery. If desired, allow the students to use their text books. Ask the students to record their answers on their “Westward Journey Nickel Series™” worksheet.
  6. Allow the students five to ten minutes to complete the worksheets individually. Pair up the students and allow them to collaborate for an additional five to ten minutes.
  7. Lead a class discussion regarding the students’ answers on their completed “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheets. Use the students’ responses to complete a model “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet on the overhead transparency.
  8. Display the “Louisiana Territory Map” overhead transparency. Demonstrate the extent to which the size of the country was increased through the Louisiana Purchase. Explain to the students that the Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the country by adding 827,000 square miles. Remind the students of the distance that the Corps traveled without the benefit of train, plane, or car. Ask the students to discuss what other technologies the Corps lacked. Remind the students that the journey west took longer than a year. Ask the students to hypothesize strategies for surviving on this type of journey such as hunting for food, building shelter, and bartering with American Indians.
  9. Using the completed “Westward Journey Nickel Series” overhead transparency, briefly review the chronology of the journey. Be sure to include the winter at Fort Mandan, crossing the Bitterroot Mountains, and the sickness and hunger endured by the members of the Corps.
  10. Draw the students’ attention to the image of the Ocean In View Nickel reverse on the “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet. Ask the students to imagine that they are members of the Corps of Discovery and that they are about to see the Pacific Ocean for the first time. Remind them that they are about to achieve one of the major goals for which they have left their homes, friends, and family, and risked their lives for more than a year. Ask the students to hypothesize where the quote on the coin came from. Remind the students that cameras, phones, and movies did not exist in 1804 and that journaling was the only way the members of the Corps of Discovery had to record their experiences. Explain to the students that it is only because Clark recorded the moment in his map journal that we have his personal account and have the quote to place on the coin. If not for Clark and his journal, the moment would be lost.
  11. Explain to the students that Clark’s journal is a primary source. If necessary, explain to the students that primary sources are actual first-hand accounts from people who witness events, or artifacts that survive from the past such as photographs or letters. Primary sources enable researchers to get as close as possible to the truth of what actually happened during a historical or current event. In contrast, secondary sources are accounts of the past created by people writing about the events some time after they happened. A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes a historical event or phenomenon. It is generally at least one step removed from the event. Their textbook is a secondary source, or a synthesis of primary sources.
  12. Ask the students to think about how the Corps of Discovery’s journey and achievement would be recorded today. Guide the students to the conclusion that, if the Corps of Discovery were to do their exploring in the present:
    • The journey would be recorded with photographs and video. Ask the students whether these photographs and videos would be primary or secondary sources.
    • The Corps would likely be on the television news every night. Ask the students whether news reports would be primary or secondary sources.
    • Members of the Corps of Discovery would appear in celebrity magazines. Ask the students whether magazine stories would be primary or secondary sources.
  13. Distribute one “Documenting the Journey Rubric” and one “Milestones from the Journey Project Options List” to each student. Display the “Documenting the Journey Rubric” and “Milestones from the Journey Project Options List” overhead transparencies. Explain that the students will document the westward journey of the Corps of Discovery as if it happened today. Ensure that the students understand the chronology of milestone events outlined on the rubric. Explain to the students that they have a choice of creating a photo album, a movie script, or a series of television newscasts to document the westward journey.
  14. Review the rubric and project options. Explain to the students that they will work in groups of three. Assign groups. Inform the students that the next class will be held in the computer lab so that they can begin their research. For homework, ask the students to write a paragraph comparing primary and secondary sources. The paragraph must include the benefits of each type of source and provide three examples of each.

Session 2

  1. Assemble the students in the computer lab. Collect their homework. Ask the students to retrieve their “Documenting the Journey Rubric” and “Milestones from the Journey Project Options List.” Distribute six “Documenting the Journey Research Organizers” to each group.
  2. Inform the students that they have today’s class period to find the information they need to complete their project. Recommend that the groups meet before beginning their research and assign two milestones to each group member. Remind the students that it is important that each group member fulfill his or her assignment.
  3. Inform the students that you have bookmarked sites on the Internet that will help them with their research. Inform the students that they will turn in each completed “Documenting the Journey Research Organizer” along with their final product.
  4. Circulate among the groups and provide support.
  5. Notify the students five minutes before the end of class. Inform them that they will need to conduct any additional research outside of class for homework. Remind the students to bring their “Documenting the Journey Rubric,” “Milestones from the Journey Project Options List,” each completed “Documenting the Journey Research Organizer,” and any necessary supplies (colored pencils, markers, etc.) to the next class.

Session 3

  1. Arrange the classroom so that it can accommodate cooperative learning. Place any supplies in a common area where the students can get them.
  2. Display the “Documenting the Journey Rubric” and “Milestones from the Journey Project Options List” overhead transparencies. Briefly review the rubric. Inform the students that this is a workday in which the groups can begin to work together to assemble their projects.
  3. Display the “Documenting the Journey Project Planner” overhead transparency. Distribute one “Documenting the Journey Project Planner” to each group. Direct the groups to complete the planner before beginning work. To complete the planner, the groups must do three things:
    • Review their research, then brainstorm and record ideas regarding the project;
    • Decide on and describe a project plan; and
    • Assign and record roles and responsibilities.
  4. Inform the students that they will need to turn in their “Documenting the Journey Project Planner” with their final product.
  5. Circulate among the groups and provide support.
  6. Notify the students five minutes before the end of class. Remind the students that the next class will be their second and final workday. Tell the students to spend the last five minutes assessing their progress and determining what each member of the group should do for homework in order to ensure that the project is completed on time.

Session 4

  1. Arrange the classroom so that it can accommodate cooperative learning. Place any supplies in a common area where students can get them.
  2. Display the “Documenting the Journey Rubric” and “Milestones from the Journey Project Options List” overhead transparencies. Briefly review the rubric. Inform the students that this is a workday in which the groups will work together to assemble their projects. Remind the students that their completed projects are due at the beginning of the next class period.
  3. Circulate among the groups and provide support.
  4. Notify the students five minutes before the end of class. Remind the students that their projects will be due at the beginning of the next class period. Tell the students to spend the last five minutes assessing their progress and determining what each member of the group should do for homework in order to ensure that the project is completed on time.

Session 5

Have the students turn in their completed assignments.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students extra time to complete the assignment.
  • Rather than requiring students to draw the photos in the photo album, take digital pictures of milestones that students recreate in class. Print the pictures. Have students complete the rest of the assignment as described.
  • Rather than having students conduct independent research on the Internet, have students gather knowledge about the expedition by reading a narrative text appropriate to their reading level. See the resource guide for a list of suggested texts. Have students complete the rest of the assignment as described.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Modify the rubric so that the students select their own six milestones or assign three of the milestones and allow the students to select three of their own. Allow additional time for research.
  • During Session 5, ask the students to present their projects. Allow those who have written a script to perform it.
  • Have the students select an individual central to one of the milestones in the chronology, research the individual, and write a biography. Suggested topics include Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Thomas Jefferson, and Sacagawea.
  • Have the students select one of the milestones in the chronology and document the event by creating a journal from the perspective of someone who was involved in the event, but was not a member of the Corps of Discovery. For example, students could write from the perspective of Thomas Jefferson after sending his instructions to Meriwether Lewis, or from the perspective of Old Toby, the Shoshone guide who led the Corps of Discovery through the Bitterroot Mountains.
  • Assess the students’ understanding of primary and secondary sources through their comparison paragraphs.
  • Evaluate student achievement of the objective using the included worksheets.
  • Use the progress demonstrated on the intermediate worksheets and organizers to assess progress daily.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.7 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.7.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
    • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
  • W.7.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
    • Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
  • W.7.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
    • Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
    • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.7 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.7.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
    • Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
    • Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.
    • Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.
  • SL.7.2. Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • SL.7.3. Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.8 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.8.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • Come to discussions prepared having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
    • Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
    • Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.
    • Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.
  • SL.8.2. Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
  • SL.8.3. Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.7 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.7.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.7.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 7.)
  • W.7.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.8 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.8.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.8.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 8.)
  • W.8.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.8 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.8.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
    • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
  • W.8.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
    • Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
  • W.8.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
    • Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
    • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.7 Language
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.7.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.
    • Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.
    • Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.
  • L.7.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt).
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.8 Language
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.8.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of verbals (gerunds, participles, infinitives) in general and their function in particular sentences.
    • Form and use verbs in the active and passive voice.
    • Form and use verbs in the indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional, and subjunctive mood.
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.
  • L.8.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, dash) to indicate a pause or break.
    • Use an ellipsis to indicate an omission.
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.7 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.7.1. Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RI.7.2. Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • RI.7.3. Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.8 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.8.1. Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RI.8.2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • RI.8.3. Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Science, Technology, and Society
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • enable learners to identify, describe, and examine both current and historical examples of the interaction and interdependence of science, technology, and society in a variety of cultural settings
  • provide opportunities for learners to make judgments about how science and technology have transformed the physical world and human society and our understanding of time, space, place, and human-environment interactions
  • have learners analyze the way in which science and technology influence core societal values, beliefs, and attitudes and how societal attitudes influence scientific and technological endeavors
  • prompt learners to evaluate various policies proposed to deal with social changes resulting from new technologies
  • help learners to identify and interpret various perspectives about human societies and the physical world using scientific knowledge, technologies, and an understanding of ethical standards of this and other cultures
  • encourage learners to formulate strategies and develop policy proposals pertaining to science/technology-society issues