U.S. History: Western Expansion- Lewis and Clark Expedition

The students will experience a brief overview of Lewis and Clark’s travels west of the Mississippi River. The students will understand and recognize the importance of the accomplishments and adventures of the Lewis and Clark expedition that led to the expansion of the United States after the purchase of the Louisiana Territory. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
Detail the events, struggles, success and main people of the exploration of the Louisiana Purchase and map the routes across the continent, including the Corps of...
Use concrete words, phrases, and sensory details to convey the experiences of settlers on the overland trails to the West, including location of the routes; purpose of...
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills when encoding words; write legibly.
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it...
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Learning objectives: 
  • Students will remember and undertand the purpose of the Louisiana Purchase and recognize the long-term impact on the United States. 
  • Students will identify accomplishments of the Lewis and Clark expedition. 
  • Students will identify discoveries that were made during the Lewis and Clark expedition. 
  • Students will also demonstrate writing skills and recognize the importance of computer skills.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints

Primary Sources & Materials Used:

  • A map of the discoveries of Capt. Lewis & Clark from the Rockey [sic] Mountain and the River Lewis to the Cap of Disappointement [sic] or the Coloumbia [sic] River at the north Pacific Ocean / by observation of Robert Frazer.
  • History of the expedition under the command of Captains Lewis and Clark, to the sources of the Missouri, thence across the Rocky Mountains and down the river Columbia to the Pacific Ocean : performed during the years 1804-5-6 by order of the government of the United States / prepared for the press by Paul Allen ; in two volumes.
  • Lewis and Clark in the Rocky Mountains /
  • A map of Lewis and Clark's track across the western portion of North America, from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean : by order of the executive of the United States in 1804, 5 & 6 / copied by Samuel Lewis from the original drawing of Wm. Clark ; Neele, sculp. [see image above]
  • Chart paper, markers
  • Paper, pencil
  • Journal
  • Computer


  • Lewis and Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President by Shirley Raye Redmond (New York: Random House, 2003)
  • Tennessee Through Time: The Early Years by Carole Stanford Bucy (Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith, 2008) [textbook]

Web site:

  • Lewis and Clark Internet Website Quiz