In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about the Lewis and Clark expedition. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Lewis and Clark topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Lewis and Clark
Have students research Lewis and Clark’s journey across the West. You may want to show a map to point out where they built forts and spent winters. What do you think the explorers saw along the way? How do you think they felt when they had to carry their boats and gear around the Great Falls in Montana? Have students write a letter as if they were in the Corps of Discovery. Have them explain what they saw and how they felt. What plants and animals did they see? What did the landscape look like? Remind students to point out their location along the expedition’s path in the details of the letter.
Remind students that Lewis and Clark collected specimens of plants to bring back home. Have students bring in a specimen of a plant, leaf, rock, or other object from their neighborhoods or communities. Then have them share it with the whole class. They may even want to bring back a mysterious item or part of an item from home and have students use their inference skills to think about what the item was used for and how.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Lewis and Clark
Have your child create a travel guide. The location can either be your community, an exotic place he or she has never been to before, or even an imaginary location. Have your child write a description and add pictures or drawings of notable sights. If possible, include a map with trails. You may wish to use an online poster-creating tool to help children create an interactive travel guide that includes text, images, and/or video. Share the travel guide with your whole family or post an image of it to your family’s blog or social media network!
Take an expedition with your child around the neighborhood or to a community destination such as a park. Have your child bring a camera and something on which to take notes. Encourage your child to take keep a written and photographic journal of things they see, smell, hear, and feel. Your child may want to draw pictures of what they see and jot down ideas and questions about the environment. Return to the area again (perhaps in another season) and have your child add to the journal.