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Home School Life Journal ................................................................................................................painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Lewis and Clark and The Corps of Discovery, part 4; The Return Trip Home



 This week we followed Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery on their trip home. They divided up into  several different groups for the journey home so that they could make more discoveries. The trip home was generally uneventful with the exception of a skirmish with the Blackfeet Indians, in which two were killed.

This is, as most National Geographic productions are, very good in terms of the photography and the boys were able to get a good sense of the journey in that way. It is a bit melodramatic both in terms of the story and the crashing orchestration, which sometimes is so loud that it drowns out the narration. I recommend it for  elementary aged students.

For older students, I recommend the PBS production narrated by Ken Burns instead. It would be alright for younger students except for one scene in which it describes the Corp being offered Indian women for the evening as part of a Buffalo Dance ceremony. It has, however, a lot more detail in it than the National Geographic production, and might be too much for younger students.
 As review, we made and played a Lewis and Clark game.
 This type of game could be made for any history subject. I printed out the states that the Corps traveled through and then laid out a trail with colored dots. 
 I then copied quotes from the journals that talk about their different experiences and glued them next to the dots. 
 On the dots we put things like Move Ahead 3, or Go Back 2, Lose a Turn, etc. Some were left blank. I also copied out pictures of the Keel boat, Pirogue and Canoe to use as the pieces to move across the board.
To play, each person rolled a die and went forward that many dots and followed the directions on that space. The die was then passed to the next person. The winner was the first player to go all the way to the Pacific Ocean and back again.
 They also did their own narrations of what they remembered, using the salt-dough map to help them remember the Corps journey.
And after all the schoolwork was finished, the boys went outside and pretended to be part of the Corps of Discovery. This is when I know they have taken their history lessons to heart.
 
A good culmination to this unit on Lewis and Clark would be authentic food (recipes can be found here.)

3 comments:

  1. I've added that movie to our Netflix cue to watch tomorrow or Friday. They weren't really getting Lewis and Clark from what we'd talked about.

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  2. I love how you did this lesson! We did a little lesson on Lewis and Clark last fall, but nothing like this! I’ll have to remember your unit when we visit the Jefferson Memorial again. Thanks for the reminder about spontaneous generation. I had forgotten all about that theory and will have to tell Little J.

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