Hey, I rhymed. I’ll pretend that was on purpose. We read about Lewis and Clark ages ago for our homeschool history and we’ve had a field trip planned to explore and map out a new playground since that time just like Lewis and Clark explored the Mississippi River area, but we kept having things get in the way of our ability to do it, illness, inclement weather, you name it.
Lewis and Clark mapping lesson
Finally, we made it there. I turned them loose in the park with the instructions of younger kids who had to draw 10 things in the park to make their map and label them. Older kids (which was the other family) had to draw 20 items, label them, and create a map key.
Of course, the boys had to bring their guns, because they remembered that Lewis and Clark both had guns to protect themselves and to hunt thanks to a video recommendation from Phyllis over at All Things Beautiful (Lewis and Clark part 4 post).
I loved the variety of maps they came up with. The younger girls had smiley faces and pictures of people playing at the different parts of the park.
While the boys……..
They did the assignment. Exactly, they did draw some parts of it. But as they got to thinking more and more about playing in the park it became more and more of ……
well, squares with letters in it.
Oh those cries of outrage as I made them draw more. You’d think I announced the end of dessert with my requirements.
In the end they got quite a lot of playtime, so I don’t know what they were complaining about.
Oh, and if you’re in the Austin area and you haven’t been to the “Play for All Abilities Park,” then you NEED to get there!
Sometimes a history lesson is as simple as this.
Leveling the Lewis and Clark map lesson
- draw 10 items on your map, yep that’s it
Elementary level, here’s where Lewis and Clark get serious
- draw 20 items on your map
- depending on the elementary level, either label what they drew, OR add a map key, for my boys in 1st grade, just labeling it was a big deal, for our friend with kids in upper elementary a map key was a good extension
Middle School and High School level
Okay, let’s be honest, you may not do this lesson with your older kids, but if you’ve got a wide-age span, you may want a way to keep the older kids involved. I’m going to include several different recommendations you could try.
- increase the number of items on the map
- include a distance measurement (work on pacing off distance between locations)
- color-coding the map
- more detail in how the map is drawn
Lewis and Clark resources
- Lewis and Clark: A Prarie Dog for the President– a nice picture book about the expedition
- Your Life as a Private on the Lewis and Clark Expedition– which is in our library and looks to be a great source
And here is my American Expansion playlist
More great history lessons
- Oregon Trail Unit
- Greensboro Sit-In lesson (Civil Rights)
- Battle of Gettysburg
- Start of World War 1
- Reusable timeline