This lesson asks students to use primary source documents to discover the many challenges the Lewis and Clark expedition encountered. It is set up as a science experiment would be set up. Students begin by making a hypothesis about the challenges the expedition faced, then “collect data” by reading through numerous journal entries from the expedition, and finally “communicate their results” by writing a summary of what they found and sharing their findings with peers. A Powerpoint presentation is also included with numerous visuals that can be used as the students go through this process step by step.
The lesson is then extended by reminding the students that an additional challenge facing the crew of the expedition was their task of mapping their journey and recording with detail the new plants and animals they encountered. Students are asked to go on their own expedition and record their findings.
Finally, a writing prompt is included that asks students to use what they have learned to write several journal entries as if they were on the expedition themselves.
Lesson plan included.