The Topic:
Lewis and Clark Expedition

Easier - The Lewis and Clark expedition (1804-1806) sought an overland route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.
Harder - In February 1803 at the urging of then President Thomas Jefferson, Congress approved spending $2,500 (Final cost was $38,727) for a small U.S. Army expedition. Their assignment was to ascend the Missouri River to its source, cross the continental divide, and follow the Columbia River to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean. Jefferson chose 28-year-old Meriwether Lewis as leader for the group he called the Corps of Discovery. Lewis selected a former army comrade, 32-year-old William Clark to be his co-leader. The expedition began May 14, 1804, as the group left Camp Wood River (Illinois). The expedition returned to St. Louis on September 23, 1806.
Lewis and Clark
This website sponsored by the The Smithsonian contains lots of great resources and links.
Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery
This is the companion site for Ken Burns' documentary movie from PBS Online. It includes biographies, information on native Americans, interviews from expert historians, and much more!
Lewis and Clark: Echoes of a Bitter Crossing (Idaho Public Television)
This website on the expedition includes questions and answers from expert historians, trivia, and information on how the Nez Perce helped the journey.
Lewis and Clark's Historic Trail
Here you can read a timeline, interactive maps of the trip, excerpts from their journal, and biographies of the explorers.
After visiting several of the websites related to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, complete one or more of the following projects:
Compare and Contrast Lewis and Clark. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark served as co-leaders of the expedition. At Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, and other sites, look for information about their personal attributes, skills, and abilities. Compare and contrast these two men by identifying their unique contributions to the expedition. What were their weaknesses? What characteristics contributed to the success of their shared leadership of the expedition?
Retrace the Expedition. As the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition nears, plan a modern-day trek that follows as closely as possible the original route. Start by visiting Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Then decide how many people you would need? Select the mode(s) of transportation, identify all needed supplies, map out the route, list your itinerary, complete a calendar schedule, and estimate the total cost.
The Name Game. Using the journal excerpts found at Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery and other sites, identify all the discoveries of the expedition; what misconceptions were corrected, what new plants and animals were identified, and what new place names were given to geographical locations? Create a chart that shows all the knowledge gained from the journey.
Plan a New Expedition. Think of a distant location that you would like to explore, a place that no one has visited. Now plan an expedition that would take you there and return. What type of people, equipment, and supplies would you need to take along? How much time would be needed? What information would you collect. Finish up by writing a few pages of a 'fictional journal.'
Complete a Lewis & Clark WebQuest. You can choose to follow any of the following webQuest plans:
1) Adventure into the Unknown
2) The Adventures of Lewis and Clark
3) Explore the West
4) Go West, Young Man
5) Lewis and Clark
6) The Lewis and Clark Expedition by Susan Frederick (Grade 8)
7) Lewis and Clark
Lewis and Clark Webquest
8) Historical Background of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
9) On the Trail with Lewis and Clark
10) Riverscape Mural Project
By Kids, For Kids
Discover the Big Sky with Lewis and Clark (ThinkQuest Junior Project)
This project contains lots of great information about Lewis and Clark in Montana.
End of the Trail (ThinkQuest Junior)
Check out this student project about the Lewis and Clark Trail.
Lewis and Clark: The Famous Expedition
This page contains information about the Missouri River and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Many More Websites
Discovering Lewis and Clark
Discovering Lewis and Clark is about the issues and values inherent in the Northwest as Lewis and Clark saw it, and some of the ways in which changing visions over the past 200 years have affected the land and the people.
Fort Clatsop
This National Monument is at the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail.
Journals of Lewis and Clark
You can read an abridged version of the Journals of Lewis and Clark.
Letter from Thomas Jefferson
Read the letter written by Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis. It is reproduced the actual way in which it was written.
Lewis and Clark Expedition
This site contains reviews of the mission, identifies the major participants, and details important events.
Lewis and Clark Herbarium
Explore information about the plants found and recorded by Lewis and Clark.
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail (National Park Service)
Learn about the three ways to follow the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail today.
Lewis & Clark Online Base Camp
You can read tales of this historic high adventure from National Geographic!
Related Site:
2) Go West Across America with Lewis and Clark
National Geographic developed this interactive online simulation that permits children to take the trip with Lewis and Clark. It includes simple animations, excerpts from the actual journals, and places where the participant must make a decision about what to do next.
Lewis and Clark in North Dakota
This website contains a spotlight of America at the time of the expedition, historic maps, and information about key participants and events.
Similar Website:
2) Lewis Clark in North Dakota
Lewis and Clark in the Rockies
Explore the Corps of Discovery's trek through the Rocky Mountains from the Mandan Indian villages to Three Rivers Forks and on to the Pacific Ocean.
Lewis and Clark in Montana
Explore lots of great resources about Lewis and Clark's trip across Montana.
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
This Foundation's site includes facts about the expedition and new articles of interest.
Explore with Lewis and Clark as they make their expedition to the Pacific Ocean. Historical account of the Corps of Discovery along the Lewis and Clark Trail.
Looking for Lewis and Clark
Explore online images of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
More Biographical Information of Clark and Lewis
William Clark (Old West Gravesites)
Here you find a description of William Clark.
Captain Meriwether Lewis (PBS Online)
The website contains a summary of his life and the expedition.
Similar Website:
2) Meriwether Lewis
This page explores the contributions of Sacajawea.
Similar Website:
2) Sacajawea
Websites for Teachers
Corps of Discovery
This awardwinning lesson contains lots of great ideas for teachers.
Lewis and Clark Expedition
This website contains lots of great links for students and teachers.
Lewis and Clark Expedition
Explore great teaching materials.
Lewis and Clark Thematic Unit
This thematic unit contains lots of lessons.
Return of Lewis and Clark
This short lesson contains activities and links.
Similar Website:
2) Monticello Corps of Discovery
Teacher Resource
This page contains ideas for teaching about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
'Gates of the Rocky Mountains'
Native Americans
Thomas Jefferson
prairie dog
Louisiana Territory
Camp Wood River
war axe
Three Forks (MT)
Corps of Discovery
historical maps
grizzly bear
fork (river)
'Great Falls' of the Missouri
Pacific Ocean
Lolo Trail
Bitterroot Mountains
'northwest passage'
William Clark
Fort Clatsop
Meriwether Lewis
Rocky Mountains
Yellowstone River
Teton Sioux
Nez Perce
white cliffs
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 5/99. Updated by Nancy Smith 11/01.