Lewis and Clark Lesson Plan

US History Lesson Plans

Topic Overview:

The acquisition of Louisiana from the French more than doubled the size of the fledgling US.  In quite possibly the best American investment deal ever, President Jefferson insured that wealth from the immense land purchase and abundant resources would flow into the US for generations to come.  The problem was that the area was largely unexplored and that a water route to the Pacific Ocean for trade had to be established to utilize the potential.  Jefferson asked his personal secretary, Meriwether Lewis, and Lewis’ friend, William Clark of the US Army, to complete the difficult mission.  On May 14, 1804, they began their “Corps of Discovery.”

Activity Overview:

In this recreation simulation students will act as Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Sacagawea, and the rest of their party as they voyage through newly acquired Louisiana to the Pacific Ocean.  Teams of students will sit in “boats” and encounter challenges reflective of the perils experienced by Lewis and Clark.  They will watch movie scenes and pause periodically to react as Lewis and Clark did.  Teams earn points on challenges and an overall winner will be determined.