Teach PA History
Explore PA History
Today We Encountered the White Man
What to Know
Teaching Time
2 45-minute classes (plus homework time)
Grade Level
High School
  • Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • Geography
  • History
Historical Period
  • Expansion and Reform - 1801-1855
This high-school level lesson uses artifact analysis, journal entries, and secondary research to bring to life various Indian tribes" encounters with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Students will research the culture of a specific tribe and rewrite a Lewis or Clark journal entry describing their encounter from the perspective of a member of their tribe.


Students will: 1. analyze and interpret an artifact (Jefferson Peace Medal) 2. work in small groups to research the culture of a particular Indian tribe encountered on the Lewis and Clark Expedition 3. write an information piece based on the above research 4. interpret a timeline to glean specific information 5. locate, read, and select appropriate primary resource for activity (journal entries reflecting specific tribe interaction with The Corps) 6. synthesize previous research and incorporate acquired knowledge into writing piece 7. write with an awareness of multiple perspectives of a historical event

Standards Alignment

  • Geography

    7.3.12. E. Analyze the significance of human activity in shaping places and regions by their political characteristics.
    7.4.9. A. Explain the impacts of physical systems on people.

  • History

    8.1.9. B. Analyze and interpret historical sources.
    8.1.9. C. Analyze the fundamentals of historical interpretation.
    8.1.12. C. Evaluate historical interpretation of events.
    8.3.9. D. Identify and analyze conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations in United States history from 1787 to 1914.

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

    1.1.11. A. Locate various texts, media and traditional resources for assigned and independent projects before reading.
    1.1.11 G. Demonstrate after reading understanding and interpretation of both fiction and nonfiction text, including public documents.
    1.4.11. B. Write complex informational pieces.
    1.5.11. A. Write with a sharp, distinct focus.
    1.5.11. B. Write using well-developed content appropriate for the topic.
    1.5.11. C. Write with controlled and/or subtle organization.
    1.6.11. A. Listen to others.
    1.6.11. E. Participate in small and large group discussions and presentations.
    1.6.11. F. Use media for learning purposes.
    1.8.11. B. Locate information using appropriate sources and strategies.
    1.8.11. C. Organize, summarize and present the main ideas from research.

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