The Lewis and Clark Expedition: SEL Connection

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    Activity: Journal Writing

    DIY leather journal

    Thomas Jefferson expected members of the expedition to keep careful and accurate journals. Have students pretend to be a member of the expedition. What would they write in their journals? 

    Lead students in a discussion about the problems the members of the expedition might encounter on their journey. Some topics you might include are:

    • The physical strain of walking, carrying loads, building the forts, etc.

    • The mental strain of being away from home, fear, etc.

    • Challenges the geography created

    • Traveling upriver instead of down

    • Getting over the Great Falls of the Missouri River

    • Weather conditions: Snow, ice, heat, etc.

    • Wild animals

    • Mosquitos and other insects

    Have students think about one problem the expedition members might face and write about it in their journals as if they were a member of the expedition themselves.

    Add an art element to this project by having students create faux leather journal covers.


    Alternative activity: Instead of journal writing, have students draw a picture and explain it to you, a peer, or the class.