Lewis & Clark: The Journey Home
Lewis & Clark: The Journey Home

Lewis & Clark: The Journey Home

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

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This is the sixth and final lesson in a series of lessons about Lewis and Clark. In this lesson, students will read about and discuss when the expedition left Fort Clatsop to begin their journey home on the Columbia River. The lesson covers when the Blackfoot Indians attacked Lewis and his party to steal their rifles. Finally, the crew arrived back home in St. Louis on September 23, 1806, bringing with them many journals and artifacts. The class will explore some of these artifacts, which are still displayed at Monticello in Virginia today!

Learning Objective

Students will be able to describe the continuation and end of the expedition of Lewis and Clark from March 1806 - September 1806.


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. Students will learn about how the crew left soggy Fort Clatsop to begin their journey home, traveling east against the current of the Columbia River. When they came to familiar Nez Perce territory, Meriwether Lewis made a change in plans and little Jean Baptiste became very sick. Students will have an opportunity to learn more about these travel routes by completing a map activity.


Explain how the Blackfoot Indians attacked Lewis and his party at dawn and attempted to steal their rifles on July 27, 1806. Two warriors were killed during the attack. The expedition met back up with Clark and the rest of the Corps on August 12. Students will learn that the crew reached the Mandan village on the upper Missouri River and that Sacagawea and her husband separated from the Corps of Discovery when they arrived back at their home. This will be followed by a class activity discussion: “How do you think Sacagawea felt when she arrived home? Do you think she was glad that she and her husband had gone on the journey?”


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


The Corps of Discovery brought back many interesting artifacts from the lands they had explored and the Native American cultures they had experienced. Close the lesson with an activity about some of the artifacts brought back to President Jefferson. The class will take turns spinning a “wheel of artifacts.” They will use their own words to describe what they learned about each artifact.

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