Students navigate through Lewis and Clark’s expedition using Google Earth. Students learn details about Lewis and Clark’s time in North Dakota, their reasons for travel, and the impact of their encounters with American Indians. Students answer questions about Lewis and Clark’s adventures.
This lesson is part of "Great States: North Dakota | Unit 4: Early Exploration" - an examination of the factors that drew people to explore North Dakota and how these early visitors impacted American Indians.
4.2.8: Explain the significance of the Lewis and Clark expeditions (e.g., Corps of Discovery, Sacagawea) in North Dakota history
- Interactive: Google Earth Tour – Lewis and Clark
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or other type of screen to project the story to the class
- Class set of The Corps of Discovery in North Dakota handout
- Class set of Lewis and Clark Enter North Dakota handout
- Disperse The Corps of Discovery in North Dakota handout, which shows Lewis and Clark’s journey through North Dakota. Explain they will refer to the map throughout this activity.
- Launch the Google Earth Tour – Lewis and Clark and navigate through the story with your students. Some slides have pictures, while others have video clips about their entire journey. The full interactive can take up to 20 minutes, but only panels #3-5 take place in North Dakota if you chose to shorten the lesson.
- Handout the Lewis and Clark Enter North Dakota background sheet, which further details their expedition while in North Dakota. Have students take turns reading paragraphs aloud to the class. Have students underline or circle dates, places, and facts.
- Ask the following questions as a classroom discussion:
- Where did the expedition stop first in North Dakota? Find this on the map—what letter and number square?
- What was the name of the settlement in North Dakota, where they spent the winter of 1804-1805?
- What tribes helped the expedition survive the winter?
- In what ways did the tribes assist the Corps of Discovery?
- Who joined the Corps in North Dakota? Why?
- Why do you think the Corps of Discovery is important to American History?
- Big Hidatsa Village, B2
- Fort Mandan
- Hidatsa, Mandan, and Arikara
- Food (such as corn, squash, and beans), advice about what was ahead on their journey, and trading partners
- Lewis and Clark invited Toussaint Charbonneau and Sacagawea because they could serve as translators. (Their son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, was born early the next year.)
- Answers may vary, but could include: because the Corps of Discovery established relations with American Indians including the Mandan and Hidatsa, and helped map out the new territory of the United States.