Visitors Arrive (5.5)


Native American Culture Curriculum Unit 5.5


Task Author: Bob Valiant
Task Title: Visitors Arrive
Grade Level: 4-5 Activity # 5.5
History Grade 5 benchmark

Brief Overview of Task:
Students will use the PBS Lewis and Clark video as well as online, print, and other resources to develop a graphic timeline of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with an account of tribes encountered, geography, plants, animals, and weather. The product will be a graphic display of the events of the trip. Students will select (or be assigned) a tribe from among those encountered and write a narrative of the encounter from the perspective of the Native Americans.

Targeted Benchmark:
Interpret data and chronological relationships presented in timelines and narratives…
Order events in historical narratives.


Recommended Prerequisite Student Knowledge and Skills:
Map skills
Internet research skills
Library research skills
Writing skills
Materials Needed:
Materials Generally Available:
White butcher paper for timeline
Art paper, markers, crayons, glue, etc.
Internet access

Special Items: (Teacher must provide)
PBS Lewis and Clark video
Large U.S. map

Citation and Helpful Resources: (i.e. books, web sites, etc.)
History: Lewis and Clark
Do a “Google Search” on “Lewis and Clark”
Recommended Classroom Time: (in hours)
6-10 hours

Detailed Description of Task for Teachers:
1. The teacher introduces the unit with a class discussion of the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The class is informed that they will be watching a video about this expedition and will need to keep track of important events on a timeline that will be developed for the trip. A long sheet of butcher paper is prepared and posted on the wall (It may take more than one wall).
2. A large U.S. map is displayed. Students will follow the trail of the explorers as they watch the video. Post-it notes with dates and pertinent information can be stuck to the map and to the timeline as the video progresses.
3. The students watch the video with frequent breaks for discussion and clarification. Sticky notes can be developed describing Native Americans, geography, plants, animals, weather, etc., then posted on the map and/or timeline. Drawings, etc. may also be included.
4. Following the complete showing, the students will discuss the timeline and map. The teacher might guide the discussion by asking why some portions of the trip took longer than others of equal distance, what was the attitude of the various Native American groups encountered, where did food and clothing come from, etc.
5. Students select (or are assigned) a tribe from among those met by the expedition and will write a narrative of the encounter from the viewpoint of the Native Americans.
6. The timeline, map, and student narratives can be displayed for the school or might be used for a presentation to other classes.

Additional Contexts and /or Possible Extensions of Task:
Students may be asked to research more deeply by using the school library, the PBS Lewis and Clark website, or other resources. More detail may be added to the timeline including downloaded graphics and other information.


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