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Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery:

Educational Outreach Elements

Lewis and Clark Web site
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Lewis & Clark premiered in 1997 and was rebroadcast in 2003. The outreach for the initial broadcast included a teacher's guide (see description below) and the Lewis & Clark Web site. For the rebroadcast, the Web site was updated and revised. The site includes educator resources, an interactive map, archives of images and primary source documents, background information on the show, and other resources.

  • Classroom Resources
    These multidisciplinary lessons plans and activities use television and computers as learning tools in the subject areas of science, mathematics, social studies, and language arts. Each lesson includes teacher notes and downloadable student handouts.

  • Inside the Corps
    This section provides biographical information about the members of the Corps of Discovery. It also includes "To Equip an Expedition," which provides a partial list of the supplies Lewis and Clark brought on the expedition, and "Circa 1803," which puts the expedition into a historical and political context, investigating popular misconceptions of the West as well as President Thomas Jefferson's motivations for exploring it.

  • The Native Americans
    Over the course of the expedition, the Corps of Discovery came into contact with nearly 50 Native American tribes. This section provides a short article about the tribes that had the most significant interactions with Lewis and Clark. Each article provides introductory information about the tribe and touches on the tribe's relationship to the expedition.

Interactive Trail Map
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  • Interactive Activities
    The Interactive Trail Map traces the Corps of Discovery's historic journey west and back home again. Follow the Corps' journey with the "Into the Unknown" activity, which features descriptions of their journey along with selected entries from the journals of the explorers.

  • Living History
    Listen to or read a wide range of experts' responses to a series of questions, ranging from "What kind of man was William Clark?" to "What was life like for York, Clark's black slave, during the expedition?" to "How did Lewis and Clark deal with the Indians they encountered?"

  • The Archives
    Florentine Films compiled a number of resources, including:

    • The Journals: A searchable, chronological compilation of excerpts from the journals of seven members of the Corps of Discovery, including Lewis and Clark
    • A Timeline of the Trip: An easy-to-follow overview of the expedition, from its inception to the death of William Clark
    • Online Resources: A comprehensive list of Lewis and Clark-related Web sites
    • Sources: An extensive bibliography of sources used for researching the Web site, as well as a guide to the site's images
    • Interview: Full-length, unedited interviews (RealAudio and text) with seven of the experts featured in the film Lewis & Clark
    • Maps: Historical maps created by Clark, a pre-expedition map, and a map showing the route taken by the Corps of Discovery to the Pacific

  • Forum with Ken Burns
    Listen to or read the answers of Ken Burns, the director and co-producer of Lewis & Clark, to seven frequently asked questions from viewers.

Teacher's Guide

The guide, targeted to grades 5-8, was part of the outreach for the premiere of the show in 1997. It was designed to help students join in the journey west with Lewis and Clark. Hands-on learning activities highlight many of the expedition's achievements and help students understand its significance in the history of America. The guide includes a full-color poster with reproducible activity sheets and teacher suggestions printed on the back.


Schools across the country received 24,500 Lewis & Clark programs.

Next > Outcomes

In this section:

    Auschwitz: Inside the
    Nazi State

    Building Big

    Culture Shock



    In Search of Shakespeare

    Lewis & Clark:
    The Journey of the
    Corps of Discovery

        Goals & Audience

>      Educational
        Outreach Elements


        Challenges &
        Lessons Learned

    My Journey Home

    The New Americans

    Poetic License


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