Internet access to Journals of Lewis and Clark or hard copies of excerpts, pens, pencils, paper, crayons, markers, construction paper, blank maps of the United States (optional).

Objectives (based on the North Carolina Standard Course of Study):

  • Students will demonstrate increasing insight and reflection to print and non-print text through personal reflection.
  • Students will interpret and evaluate representative texts to deepen understanding of literature of the United States.
  • Students will apply conventions of language and grammar usage.

1. Begin the class by showing a map of Lewis and Clark's expedition, either on a projector or as a hand-out. Ask students what they know about the eleven states Lewis and Clark visited -- what they look like, what attractions they contain, etc. Then, ask students to imagine what those states looked like 200 years ago. What technologies do we have that Lewis and Clark would not have had?

2. Explain that, like the early American explorers, Lewis and Clark kept journals of their expedition so that future generations could learn from their journey. During this lesson, students will also keep journals of their learning which they will bind and decorate. Remind students the purpose of journals, as discussed in previous lessons.

3. If students all have internet access, send them to If not, print off relevant materials or take them to the school library for research.

4. Ask them to complete the "Lewis and Clark Learning Journal." These journals can be as simple or as elaborate as time allows. You can ask students to illustrate images from the journey, trace their expedition on a blank U.S. map, or create other reflections.

5. Once complete, they can bind the journal with construction paper and leave their work on their desks for others to view.


Students can be evaluated for participation during the lesson. The "Lewis and Clark Learning Journal" can be evaluated for completion, depth of research, and comprehension.


"Lewis and Clark: A Journey of the Corps of Discovery" PBS Online. 1997. Coproration for Public Broadcasting. 29 July 2009.

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