Adventures Through History: Indigenous Peoples of the Western Mountains and Lewis and Clark



Looking for a fun way to learn about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and some of the Native American tribes they met?

One that is literature-based and has a variety of activities and learning materials related to the books you read?

A unit study that teaches your children how to place events in time, work with maps and study primary sources, but is also fun?

And you want to be able to tailor the study to your family’s specific needs?

Welcome to our latest Adventures Through History!

These unit studies have been created with homeschooling families in mind and can be used with one child or multiple children.  They are designed specifically for 4th-8th graders, but older and younger children in your family can be included as you see fit.

The Indigenous Peoples of the Western Mountains and Lewis and Clark unit study will introduce your children to the history behind the Lewis and Clark Expedition, their guide Sacajawea, the land and rivers they explored, and some of the many Native American tribes they met along the way.

The unit is based on the following two books (The links below are affiliate links.):

Start with Sacajawea by Joseph Bruchac.  This story of Sacajawea was chosen as Joseph Bruchac is a native author who has written many children’s books.  The story goes back and forth between Sacajawea and Captain William Clark narrating. This book is intended for ages 12 and up so if you have younger children, it is suggested that you complete it as a read aloud.

Then read the American Girl book, Kaya, The Journey Begins by Janet Shaw. This is an easy read that will introduce your children to how the Nez Perce tribe, one of the many tribes Lewis and Clark meet, lived in the 1700s before they came in contact with many Europeans.  If your children, enjoy this book they can continue the series to learn more about Kaya and her people.

Each Adventures Through History study contains Core Activities that are recommended all families complete and several Optional Activities for families to choose from based on what will work best for them.  Even within the Core Activities, ideas about how to adapt them to different needs are suggested.  For example, you may choose to read the book as a read aloud with the whole family or assign the book as independent reading to your children.

Core Activities in the Indigenous Peoples of the Western Mountains and Lewis and Clark Study

Listening to Learn: The Lewis and Clark Expedition shares the path Lewis, Clark, Sacajawea, and their group took along with some of their adventures while your children color and draw on a picture.

Listening to Learn: Sacajawea gives you some of her background and her life after the expedition.

Listening to Learn: Indigenous Peoples of the Western Mountains helps you learn about three of the main tribes that lived in the Western Mountains, the Shoshone, Blackfeet, and Nez Perce.

Eighteen Vocabulary Cards teach key words your children will need to know to understand the unit and carry over to other history learning.  Crosswords are included to review the words later in the unit.

Notebooking Pages for both books mentioned above with questions you can discuss as a family or have your children use to narrate the book to you or practice their writing skills. (Answer keys included.)

Optional Activities in the Indigenous Peoples of the Western Mountains and Lewis and Clark Study

The following activities are included in the Indigenous Peoples of the Western Mountains and Lewis and Clark unit study for your family to choose which will work best.  Different activities might work better for different children in your family.  Pick the ones you want to complete and forget the rest.

Object Studies and Primary Source Document Studies…including Lewis and Clark’s journals and native objects.

Crossword Puzzles

Folktale Studies

Timelines with Events

Hands-on Activities and Projects including crafts, and games.

Notebooking Pages for the three main tribes as well as five different people discussed in this unit.

Notebooking Pages to research and draw animals that were important to the Native Peoples of the Western Mountains.

Lists of related books, videos and movies.

End of Unit Projects

Short Quiz

Materials Needed: The books you have chosen to read, printable pages from this study, internet for doing research.
Optional Materials: Art and craft supplies for projects you may choose to create.

Grades: 4th-8th grades
Approximate Time to Complete: About 6-8 weeks
Number of Pages: 89 pages

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