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        Idaho | Activity 3.5: American Indian Trade | The Horses of the Nez Perce

        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 watch a video to learn about the trade interests of the Nez Perce and then answer questions about the exchange of goods between the Lewis and Clark party and the American Indian tribes they encountered.

        Standard: 4.SS.3.1.4 Identify goods and services in early Idaho settlements.

        413.10 and 4.SS.1.3.3 Identify characteristics of American Indian tribes and other cultural groups in Idaho.


        Time Allotment

        10 minutes



        1. Tell your students that they will be watching a short video about encounters between Lewis & Clark and the Nez Perce people. Explain that Lewis & Clark were heading the Corps of Discovery, which was tasked with traveling west in newly acquired American lands. They documented plants, animals, terrain, and people that they encountered on the way.

        1. Play the video, Moments in Time: The Horses of the Nez Perce [1:06]. The transcript is also available for download from the video site.

        1. Ask students the following questions:

          1. What did the Nez Perce have in abundance to trade?

          2. What goods were the Nez Perce interested in in return?

          3. To the Nez Perce, with what did blue beads equate?

        Answer Key

        1. Horses

        2. Items of utility (knives), blue beads

        3. Silver and gold


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