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        Idaho | Activity 4.2: The Corps of Discovery – Lewis and Clark Enter Idaho

        Unit 4: Explorers

        This Unit will help students develop a balanced view of people who took the risk to travel, work, or settle in a new place. The materials and activities will highlight the strength and courage they demonstrated, however, the conflicts, struggles, and disappointments experienced by various groups of pioneers will also be examined.

        Lesson Summary

        Students watch a video of Lewis and Clark traveling through Montana to reach Lemhi Pass. Students learn what Captain Lewis experienced upon entering Idaho. Then students study an Idaho map to find locations that were pertinent to the expedition. 

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

        413.05 Use a number/letter grid to find specific locations on a map of Idaho.

        Time Allotment

        20 minutes



        1. Tell your students they will be watching a short video that illustrates one of Meriwether Lewis’s journal entries. Play the video, Moments in Time: Entering Idaho [1:07]. A transcript is also available from the video page if you chose to hand it out to students.

        2. Explain to students that Captain Lewis was describing the climb of “the dividing ridge.” Explain that he was on what is now known as Lemhi Pass, on the border of Montana and Lemhi County, Idaho.

        3. Ask students the following questions:

          1. How did Captain Lewis describe the waters of the Missouri River?

          2. What did he discover upon reaching the top of Lemhi Pass?

        4. Distribute the Lewis and Clark Enter Idaho handout of to your students. Have students study the map then answer the questions on the worksheet.

        Answer Key

        Discussion Answers

        1. Pure and ice cold

        2. Immense snow-topped mountain ranges

        Handout Answers

        1. 2c

        2. West

        3. 2b

        4. North


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