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Inquiry Question

Historical Context





Table of

About This Lesson

This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration files for "Fort Clatsop National Memorial" (with photographs), "Lemhi Pass" (with photographs), "Lolo Trail" (with photographs), and other primary and secondary sources. The Lewis & Clark Expedition: Documenting the Uncharted Northwest was written by Theresa Campbell-Page, a National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers historian and Mike Chin, a former student intern to the Teaching with Historic Places program from Pomona College in California. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in units on 19th-century westward expansion and U.S. and American Indian relations.
Time period: Early 19th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students
1) To explain the historical implications of the Louisiana Purchase in relation to the growth of the newly created United States.
2) To describe some of the challenges and successes that the Corps of Discovery experienced at various stages of its journey.
3) To compare and contrast the appearance, social structure, and customs of several Indian tribes the corps encountered based on journal entries and explain the Indians' contributions to the journey's success.
4) To list the accomplishments of the Corps of Discovery.
5) To create a scale map of their own community.

Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) three maps of the United States after the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory and depicting the route that the Corps of Discovery chose;
2) four readings that provide a general history of the expedition with emphasis on the expedition's time at Lemhi Pass, Lolo Trail, and Fort Clatsop, as well as excerpts of detailed descriptions of several tribes with which the corps established relations;
3) four photos of the peace medal, Fort Clatsop, and the salt works;
4) two illustrations of maps drawn based on the expedition's trail;
5) two drawings from the Lewis and Clark journals.

Visiting the site
Lemhi Pass is located 12 miles east of Tendoy, Idaho off ID 28, in Beaverhead and Salmon National Forests, and marks the boundary between Idaho and Montana. The USDA Forest Service has signs at Lemhi Pass during the summer months to help tell the story of the pass. Please write the Forest Supervisor, Beaverhead and Salmon National Forests, 420 Barrett St., Dillon, MT 59725-3572, or visit the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest's website.

The Lolo Trail is administered by the National Park Service and Clearwater National Forest, and is part of the Nez Perce National Historical Park. The 150-mile-long trail extends from Lolo, Montana, to Weippe Prairie, Idaho. There are two main National Park Service Visitor Centers, one at Park Headquarters in Spalding, Idaho, 11 miles east of Lewiston and the other at Big Hole National Battlefield, 10 miles west of Wisdom, Montana. The Visitor Center at Spalding, Idaho is open in the winter months from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and until 5:30 p.m. in the summer. The Visitor Center at Big Hole National Battlefield near Wisdom, Montana is open in the winter from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and in the summer from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Please write the Superintendent, Nez Perce National Historical Park, 39063 U.S. Highway 95, Spalding, ID 83540-9715, or visit the park's website. To contact Clearwater National Forest please write Forest Supervisor, Clearwater National Forest, 12730 Highway 12, Orofino, ID, 83544, or visit their website.

Fort Clatsop National Memorial, administered by the National Park Service, is located in Astoria, Oregon. It is open daily during the summer from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and daily during the winter from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed December 25. The accompanying Salt Works are located in nearby Seaside, OR. To reach the salt works, drive on U.S. Highway 101 to the town of Seaside. Turn west on Avenue G and follow the signs to South Beach Drive and Lewis & Clark Way. This site is an outdoor exhibit and is open year round. For more information write to the Superintendent, Fort Clatsop National Memoral, 92343 Fort Clatsop Rd., Astoria, OR 97103-9197, or visit the park's website.



Comments or Questions

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