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The Louisiana Purchase and The

Expedition of Lewis and Clark

3rd Grade Social Studies
Ryan Demers

Common Core Standard

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or
secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the
source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Essential Question
Does looking at a historical event from multiple
perspectives change how you feel about that

Lesson Objectives
At the conclusion of this lesson students should be able to:
analyze and interpret primary sources
compare and contrast how encounters during the
expedition may have been viewed by European and
Native American groups
Understand that people's perceptions are based on their
own culture and experience

Criterion for Success

I will know the students have succeeded in reaching the
learning objectives if they are able to analyze the
perceptions of a group of people using the primary sources
as reference. Furthermore, students should be able to
develop their own well-rounded opinion regarding events
based on their reading of different perspectives.

Learning Progressions
Students at this point should have experience with
analyzing and interpreting literature and secondary
sources, such as their textbooks and any articles I give
them. This will prepare them to take a critical look at
primary sources.
Future Instruction would include additional analysis of
primary sources as we continue to study time periods and
events throughout U.S. History

Questions from Blooms Taxonomy

1. Which president is responsible for purchasing the
Louisiana Territory? (Remembering)
2. What similar things might Native American tribes and
the expedition have wanted? (Analyzing)
3. Create a dialogue poem (in which alternating lines of
dialogue are written from two different perspectives)
that describes an event or place

Photocopies of the handout Expedition Encounters, which contains excerpts
from journal entries to serve as the primary sources.

Focus Lesson
I will begin the lesson by accessing the students prior
knowledge and asking them if they know what a primary
source is. Subsequently i will ask them if they know what
the term perspective means.
I will then go more deeply into what a primary source is,
and use the Declaration of Independence as an example. I
will then model for them how to draw conclusions from
primary sources, as in the DoI we can theorize how the
colonists felt about tyranny, monarchy, taxes, etc...

Formative Assessment
Ask students to describe the characteristics of their
hometown. Then ask them how their parents would
describe their hometown. How would visitors? Hopefully
this gives students insight on how people can have vastly
different opinions on the same thing.

Guided Instruction
Divide the class into five teams. Give each team 2 copies of the previously
mentioned handout, which contains information about multiple encounters
between the Native Americans and the expedition, and contain journal entries
from the European experience. The five teams should then be divided into two
groups, one group taking the stance of the expedition, the other taking the
stance of the natives. For those taking the stance of the natives, they should be
made aware that the Native Americans have a tradition of oral history,
meaning there is very little written primary sources regarding what their point of
view may have been. So this team will have to use their imagination in many
cases in order to come up with their perspective. The first encounter listed I
will do with them. I will walk them through and assist in helping them make
connections and creating discussion, and learning how to look at both sides.

Formative Assessment
After we have walked through one encounter together, and
looked at it from two different sides, I will ask the class to
form their own opinion of the events based on now having
two different viewpoints. They will be assessed on their
answers and their participation in the discussion.

Collaborative Learning
After working together, the students will then be left to finish
going through the remaining encounters in their teams.
They will continue to look at specific events from different
perspectives and discuss it within their group. I will make
myself accessible for any questions or assistance.

Formative Assessment
At the conclusion of the group activity, have each group
present their findings to the class. What did your group
agree upon, disagree upon? What did you learn from this

Independent Learning
Ask students to write about something that happened
during the expedition as they imagine Sacagawea (Lewis
and Clarks Native American guide) or York (Lewis and
Clarks African American slave) might have perceived it.

Summative Assessment

This assignment has been incredibly helpful in constructing fully developed
lesson plans. This is a lesson I modified from a different class, but this class
made me realize that it was incomplete because it lacked quality assessments.
Working forward, I will try to make sure all my lessons have plenty of formative
assessments and group work, as these have shown to be some of the most
reliable methods to promote intellectual development. Having an abundance of
assessments will also keep your students engaged and focused.