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        Idaho | Activity 3.2: The Journey of Sacagawea

        Unit 3: American Indians

        In this Unit, students will learn about the indigenous peoples who inhabited what became the state of Idaho long before the arrival of other groups. Although the arrival of white explorers came relatively late, their impact was profound and continues to reverberate in the lives of tribal people today.

        Lesson Summary

        Students learn about the Lewis and Clark expedition from the perspective of Sacagawea. Students learn about Sacagawea’s role as interpreter and liaison between the expedition and the tribes they encountered. Students will answer questions based on the information in the video. 

        Standard: 4.SS.1.2.4 Analyze and describe how interactions and conflicts during the westward expansion impacted the American Indians in Idaho.

        413.12 Explain the accomplishments, significance and outcomes of the Lewis and Clark expedition. 

        Time Allotment

        25 minutes


        • Video: The Journey of Sacagawea
        • A smart board, projector, or other type of screen to project videos to the class
        • Notebooks or loose-leaf paper


        1. Explain to the class that you are going to show a video about Sacagawea. Instruct students to take notes about details as they watch, such as names, places, tribe names. Remind students that note taking means writing down short details, no need for complete sentences. Note taking highlights important ideas and details and allows you to come back later for further study.

        1. Then, play the video, [title] [TRT].

        Discussion Questions

        1. How did the expedition travel?

        2. From what tribe did Sacagawea come from?

        3. How did Sacagawea react to seeing the Shoshone?

        4. What did the expedition want from the Shoshone?

        5. Describe the hardships the expedition experienced as they headed west.

        Answer Key

        1. On foot, by canoe down rivers

        2. Found at 1:58: Shoshone

        3. Found at 2:11: Sacagawea was overjoyed to see her tribe

        4. Found at 2:44: Horses

        5. Rugged mountains and terrain, snow and snowstorms, forging rivers

        Writing Activity

        Have students write short paragraphs on each of the following prompts:

        1. Do you think Lewis and Clark’s expedition would have been successful without Sacagawea? Why or why not?

        2. Did Sacagawea help create good relations between the explorers and different American Indians?


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