Two hundred years ago, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and more than two-dozen members of the Corps of Discovery set out to discover a waterway linking the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. What they saw, who they met, and how they survived the journey are part of our national heritage. This collection of sites commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Included: A dozen Web sites filled with online activities, lesson plans, curriculum resources, primary documents, maps, and more.
The sites below allow students to accompany the members of the Corps of Discovery on their historic adventure.
Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery
PBS' online companion to their miniseries of the same name, this site offers lesson plans, interactive tools, and research materials. Use the interactive trail map to learn more about each future state that Lewis and Clark visited, get information about more than a dozen tribes visited by the Corps, or find out what to pack when setting off on such an expedition. This is an excellent resource for students in grade 4 and above.
Lewis and Clark 200
The Department of the Interior's Web site marking the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition contains information on events marking the occasion, links to other sites, and a wealth of educational resources. Those include lesson plans for grades 3-12, a tool that guides students through the trail itself, ideas for curriculum integration in Art, Math, and other areas, and links to journals from the expedition. Biographical information on Lewis and Clark, as well as on other members of the corps, provides excellent background information for the middle and high school student.
Scholastic's Lewis and Clark Page
Invite students to pack their specimen box as they join Lewis and Clark in this detailed and engaging online activity. Students in grades PreK-8 make four stops along their journey west, from preparing for the journey in Monticello, Virginia, to celebrating the arrival at the Pacific Ocean in 1806. Online activities, lesson plans, teaching strategies (including assessment and pre-activity preparation), and other tools make this site one of the best to use for classroom instruction!
The National Park Service's Lewis and Clark Curriculum Guide
A wonderful starting point for any teacher interested in easy-to-implement lesson plans on the anniversary of the Corps of Discovery. More than a dozen unit ideas for grades PreK-7 are included, each containing a lesson plan, tasks or problems, standards, teaching aids, journal prompts, glossaries, and links to further resources. Take a minute to see how this exhaustive teacher's resource can benefit your classroom.
Go West Across America with Lewis and Clark
This student-oriented site from National Geographic gives students a chance to make pivotal decisions as they recreate the journey of the Corps of Discovery. Students choose for example, whether to bring paper or a 2-year supply of food on the journey, then find out if their choice was correct. A great place to begin a discussion of the expedition, particularly for grades 3-5, this site works well as a small group activity.
ALSO WORTH A LOOK
Learn about more great sites for students, parents, and educators by visiting Education World's Site Reviews Archives.