Lewis & Clark: Reaching The Ocean
Lewis & Clark: Reaching The Ocean

Lewis & Clark: Reaching The Ocean

I can describe the continuation of the expedition of Lewis and Clark from...

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This is the fifth lesson in a series of lessons about Lewis and Clark. In this lesson, your students will discuss the hard journey over the Rockies, as the crew was exhausted and starving. The lesson covers when the Corps of Discovery rested and traded with the Nez Perce before crossing the final range of the Rockies and their journey as they reached the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River on November 15, 1805.

Learning Objective

I can describe the continuation of the expedition of Lewis and Clark from September 1805 - December 1805.


To start this lesson the class will review what they have learned so far about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Next, the class will engage in a quick memory refresher activity by putting events in the correct sequence. Discuss how the expedition continued their hard journey over the Rockies with no animals to hunt for food and how many suffered from frostbite and dehydration. Students will then have an opportunity to learn more about and discuss, “What is frostbite?”


Explain how the Corps rested at a deserted fish camp, traded, and learned how to make canoes more efficiently with the Nez Perce before crossing the Bitterroot Mountain Range. The expedition used their new canoes on the Clearwater River rapids to reach the Columbia River. The students will learn the meaning of the term “mouth” of the river. Next, they will read William Clark’s journal entry written on Christmas Day, 1805.


Students respond to ten multiple-choice and true/false questions.


Close the lesson with an activity about Clark's journal entry. The class will divide into groups. Each group will be assigned a discussion question and then return to the class for each group to share its answers.

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