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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
Classroom Resources Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

Lewis and Clark left an extraordinary record of their quest in the journal writings they kept. These 4" x 6" field notebooks, most covered in red Moroccan leather, have since become etched into American history. Their prose is still accessible and engaging two centuries later, offering Americans the opportunity to reflect on a time when the country was experiencing dramatic change. Printings of the journals are available for everyone to enjoy; yet there is no more appreciated reader than the teacher who reads with purpose, delighting in the transmission of U.S. history and culture to the next generation.

Lesson Plans
As a topic for intellectual curiosity and analysis, events surrounding the expedition, and the journey itself reach across the curriculum. The connecting theme on this site is natural history as it was 200 years ago, and as witnessed and recorded by Lewis and Clark; however, U.S. and world history, geography, ethnography, and literature are each entangled with nearly every facet of the story. The lesson plans below are provided as support for teachers that are passing on the national heritage of the time.

PDF About this Site
By Frances Pitlick

PDF Activities and Standards, a Teachers' Guide
By Susan Metcalfe and Robert Costello

PDF Beginning Botany with Camas
By Gail McEachron

PDF Clark's Nutcracker
By Gail McEachron

PDF Grizzly Survival
By Gail McEachron

These vignettes provide additional perspective on some of the plants that were described in the journals of the expedition members.

PDF A Carefully Cultivated Plant - Indian Tobacco
By Dominique Harre Rogers

PDF A Relished Indian Food Plant - Small Camas
By Dominique Harre Rogers

PDF A Versatile Source of Lumber - Plains Cottonwood
By Dominique Harre Rogers

PDF An Eye for Plants - Purple Sagebrush
By Dominique Harre Rogers

PDF Exchanges of Herbal Remedies - Blacksamson Echinacea
By Dominique Harre Rogers

PDF From the Lewis and Clark Trail to Seed Catalogs - Common Snowberry & Golden Current
By Dominique Harre Rogers

PDF Going East: Human Dispersal of a Tree - Osage Orange
By Dominique Harre Rogers

PDF Naming Species New to Science - Pinkfairies & Bitter Root
By Dominique Harre Rogers

PDF Old and New Practices in Botany - Silverleaf Indian Breadroot
By Dominique Harre Rogers

PDF The Trouble with Relatives - Orange Honeysuckle
By Dominique Harre Rogers

Web Resources
The web resources listed extend the information on this site in ways that may help the reader access complementary information. These sites do not belong to the Smithsonian Institution; therefore, we cannot vouch for the information on these sites.

Alexander von Humboldt in Washington (1804)
By Dr. Frank Baron and Chris Hare, Max Kade Center for German American Studies, Univ. Kansas, Lawrence

Mammal Species of the World
By Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (eds). 1993

On the Botany Trail: FRUITS
By Mouth of the Platte Study Group, Univ. of Nebraska, Omaha

On the Botany Trail: PRAIRIES
By Mouth of the Platte Study Group, Univ. of Nebraska, Omaha

On the Botany Trail: TREES
By Mouth of the Platte Study Group, Univ. of Nebraska, Omaha

The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
By University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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