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People and Places

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Summary

Students will understand the influence of geography on human experience, specifically the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Students will describe a place using its physical and human characteristics. Students will understand and apply the basic tools of historical research, including chronology and how to collect, interpret, and use information from primary and secondary sources. Students will create a map.

Coin Type(s)

  • Nickel

Coin Program(s)

  • Westward Journey Nickel Series

Objectives

  • Students will understand the influence of geography on human experience, specifically the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • Students will describe a place using its physical and human characteristics.
  • Students will understand and apply the basic tools of historical research, including chronology and how to collect, interpret, and use information from primary and secondary sources.
  • Students will create a map.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Technology

Grades

  • Fifth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Five
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery
  • Louisiana Purchase
  • President Thomas Jefferson
  • United States geography
  • Features of maps
  • Conducting Internet research

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Geographic characteristics
  • Physical characteristics
  • Human characteristics
  • Region

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector
  • Copies of the worksheets attached to this lesson plan (see “Preparations”)
  • 1 copy of the Westward Journey Nickel Series™ Resource Guide (available at www.usmint.gov/kids)
  • Blank overhead transparencies
  • A computer lab with Internet access
  • Web sites that include basic information about the Lewis and Clark expedition (see “Preparations”)
  • White art butcher paper
  • Colored pencils, crayons, or markers

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following:
    • “Westward Journey Nickel Series™” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Louisiana Territory Map” (from the Resource Guide) (1 per student)
    • “Geographic Characteristics” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Characteristics by Region” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Region Map Rubric” (1 per student)
    • “Map Research Organizer” (1 per student)
  • Make overhead transparencies of the following:
    • “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet
    • “Louisiana Territory Map” (from the Resource Guide)
    • “Geographic Characteristics” worksheet
    • “Region Map Rubric”
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab.
  • Bookmark Internet sites that provide basic information about Lewis and Clark, such as:

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/185.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Ask questions to assess the students’ knowledge of the expedition of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery. Questions could include: Who were Lewis and Clark? What was the Corps of Discovery? What did the Corps of Discovery do? (If needed, use the overview from the Westward Journey Nickel Series Resource Guide to review facts of the expedition.) Remind the students that Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery were the first Americans to travel overland from the eastern part of the continent to the Pacific Ocean.
  2. Explain to the students that the United States Mint is producing five new nickel designs in 2004 through 2006 to commemorate the Lewis and Clark Expedition and that these new nickels make up the Westward Journey Nickel Series.
  3. Display the “Westward Journey Nickel Series™”overhead transparency. Distribute one “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet to each student.
  4. Explain that the term “obverse” refers to the front of a coin and “reverse” refers to the back.
  5. Have the students work in pairs to complete the worksheets. Direct the students to use their textbooks and other available classroom resources to explain the significance of the images on the coins in relation to the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  6. Give the students an appropriate amount of time to complete the worksheets.
  7. Lead a class discussion regarding the students’ answers on their completed worksheets. Use the students’ responses to create a model “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet on the overhead transparency.
  8. Display the “Louisiana Territory Map” overhead transparency. Distribute one “Louisiana Territory Map” to each student. Have the students note the Louisiana Territory’s position in relation to your school’s location.
  9. Pair up the students. Ask the students to use their textbooks and other available class room resources to note the following on their maps:
    • The route taken by Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery.
    • The modern names of the states through which Lewis and Clark traveled (Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.)
    • Five major geographic features that Lewis and Clark may have encountered on their journey.
  10. Lead a brief class discussion regarding the students’ answers on their maps. Use the students’ responses to create a model “Louisiana Territory Map” on the overhead transparency.
  11. Display the “Geographic Characteristics” transparency. Distribute one “Geographic Characteristics” worksheet to each student. Explain to the students that one of the goals that Thomas Jefferson set for the Expedition was to gather information about the geography of the Louisiana Territory. Explain that geographers use geographic characteristics to define a place or region. Explain that some of these characteristics are physical characteristics and that they include:
    • Physical features—landforms and bodies of water
    • Weather and climate—temperature, precipitation, and wind
    • Vegetation and animals—all plant life and domesticated and wild animals
  12. Explain to the students that, in addition to the physical characteristics of a place, geographers also use human characteristics to describe a place. Tell the students that human characteristics are:
    • Human-made features—modifications people have made to the land, such as buildings, homes, bridges, dams, and canals
    • Types of settlement—such as farms, villages, cities, and nomadic communities
    • Culture—language, customs, beliefs, clothing, and activities of the people
  13. Pair up the students. Ask the students to create a list of all of the physical and human characteristics that were likely encountered by the Corps of Discovery. Allow the students to use their textbooks, completed maps, and other available classroom resources.
  14. Allow the students the rest of the class period to work on the worksheet. Direct those who do not complete it to finish it for homework. Collect the “Westward Journey Nickel Series™ worksheet. Remind the students to bring their completed maps and their completed “Geographic Characteristics” worksheets to the next class.

Session 2

  1. Have students retrieve their completed maps and their completed “Geographic Characteristics” worksheets. Display the “Geographic Characteristics” overhead transparency. Lead a brief class discussion regarding the students’ answers on their completed worksheets. Use the students’ answers to create a model “Geographic Characteristics” worksheet on the overhead transparency. During the discussion, ask the students to find examples of physical characteristics that affected the human characteristics. Ask the students to explain their answers.
  2. Display the “Louisiana Territory Map” overhead transparency. Distribute one “Physical and Human Characteristics by Region” worksheet to each student.
  3. Explain to the students that geographers use physical and human characteristics of a place to form regions. Explain to the students that places are categorized as regions when they have one or more common characteristics that give them a measure of unity and make them distinct from surrounding areas. Explain to the students that there are several ways that geographers divide the United States into regions, but for the purposes of this activity, the class will use the following five regions:
    • Coastal Plains
    • Appalachian
    • Great Plains
    • Western Mountain
    • Pacific
  4. Note the approximate boundaries of each region on the overhead transparency of the map. Have the students outline the regions on their maps.
  5. Ask the students through which of the regions the Corps of Discovery traveled. Using their maps, the students should see that the Corps traveled through the Great Plains, the Western Mountain, and the Pacific regions.
  6. Assign the students to groups of three. Have the students assign the physical and human characteristics from their “Geographic Characteristics” worksheets to the appropriate cell on their “Characteristics by Region” worksheets using their textbooks, their completed maps, and other available classroom resources.
  7. Give the students an appropriate amount of time to complete the activity.
  8. Lead a brief class discussion regarding the regions in which the physical and human characteristics belong. Discuss which of the characteristics might be the most important in defining each region.
  9. Tell the students to select one region from the “Geographic Characteristics” worksheet on which they would like to do an in-depth study. Distribute one “Region Map Rubric” to each student. Discuss the elements of the rubric. Tell the students that they will have the next class period to conduct research. Allow the groups the remainder of the period to plan their activity.

Session 3

  1. Escort the students to the computer lab. Distribute one “Map Research Organizer” to each student. Tell the students that they can begin their research by completing the worksheet and that you have bookmarked Internet sites to help them. Tell the students that, once they have gathered sufficient information, they can begin to plan their maps and that they have the rest of the class period to conduct their research.
  2. Circulate among the groups and provide support.
  3. Five minutes before the end of class, tell the students that they should finish any necessary research for homework and that they should bring art supplies (colored pencils, markers, rulers, etc.) to the next class.

Session 4

  1. Arrange the classroom so that it can accommodate cooperative learning. Place the white art butcher paper, colored pencils, markers, and any other supplies in a common area so that the students have access to them.
  2. Display the “Region Map Rubric” overhead transparency. Have the students retrieve their “Region Map Rubric” and their completed “Map Research Organizer.” Briefly review the “Region Map Rubric” with the students. Explain to the students that they will begin working on their maps today and that they will complete and present them during the next class period.
  3. Show the students where the supplies are located. Have the students begin working on their maps.
  4. Circulate among the groups and provide support.
  5. Five minutes before the end of class, direct the students to begin cleaning up. Remind the students they need to bring their “Louisiana Territory Maps,” “Geographic Characteristics” worksheets, “Characteristics by Region” worksheets, and “Map Research Organizers” to the next class session.

Session 5

  1. Arrange the classroom so that it can accommodate cooperative learning. Place the white art butcher paper, colored pencils, markers, and any other supplies in a common area so that the students have access to them.
  2. Display the “Region Map Rubric” overhead transparency. Have the students retrieve their region maps, their “Region Map Rubrics,” and their completed “Map Research Organizers.” Briefly review the “Region Map Rubric” with the students.
  3. Remind the students that they have half the period to complete their region maps and that they will present their region maps to the class during the second half of the class period. Have the students begin working on their maps.
  4. Circulate among the groups and provide support.
  5. At the appropriate time, direct the students to begin cleaning up. When they are done, have the students present their maps to the class.
  6. After each group has presented its map, have the group hang the map in the classroom. Collect each student’s “Louisiana Territory Map,” “Geographic Characteristics” worksheet, “Characteristics by Region” worksheet, and “Map Research Organizer.”

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Provide the students with an outline map of each region.
  • Provide pictures of the various physical and human characteristics to which students can refer.
  • Provide individual or small group support in locating the research information.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students research the Eastern Coastal and the Appalachian regions. Ask students to discuss how Meriwether Lewis, who was from the Eastern Coastal region, and William Clark, who was from the Appalachian region, would view the other regions. Ask students to hypothesize what they think surprised Lewis and Clark the most.
  • Have students view the virtual tour of the expedition’s route at rediscovery.ed.uidaho.edu/VRTourHome.asp. Ask students to choose one of the images of the landscape from along the route. Have students write a poem from the perspective of one of the members of the Corps of Discovery about the place. The poem should describe how the place looks and the feeling that the person experiences when seeing it.
  • Have students follow the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition using modern maps and other resources to identify the changes that the physical and human characteristics have undergone since the early 19th century.
  • Have students use a map and map scale to estimate the number of miles it would take today to follow the Expedition’s route.
  • Use student responses on the completed worksheets to evaluate the extent to which the students met the lesson objectives.
  • Use the rubric to evaluate the extent to which the students met the lesson objectives.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.5 Language
Grade(s): Grade 5
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.5.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences.
    • Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses.
    • Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.
    • Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor).
  • L.5.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation to separate items in a series.
    • Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
    • Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).
    • Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 5
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.5.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
  • RI.5.5. Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.
  • RI.5.6. Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 5
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.5.7. Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
  • RI.5.8. Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
  • RI.5.9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 5
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.5.1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RI.5.2. Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • RI.5.3. Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 5
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.5.7. Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • W.5.8. Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.
  • W.5.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]”).
    • Apply grade 5 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s]”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Text
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Using Technological Information
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Disciplinary Standards
Cluster: Geography
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • guide learners in the use of maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective
  • enable learners to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context
  • assist learners to analyze the spatial information about people, places, and environments on Earth’s surface
  • help learners to understand the physical and human characteristics of places
  • assist learners in developing the concept of regions as a means to interpret Earth’s complexity
  • enable learners to understand how culture and experience influence people’s perceptions of places and regions
  • provide learners opportunities to understand and analyze the physical processes that shape Earth’s surface
  • challenge learners to consider the characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth’s surface
  • guide learners in exploring the characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • help learners to understand and analyze the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics
  • have learners explore the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth’s surface
  • enable learners to describe the processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement
  • challenge learners to examine how the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth’s surface; help learners see how human actions modify the physical environment
  • enable learners to analyze how physical systems affect human systems
  • challenge learners to examine the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources
  • help learners to apply geography to interpret the past and present and to plan for the future
  • enhance learners’ abilities to ask questions and to acquire, organize, and analyze geographic information so they can answer geographic questions as they engage in the study of substantive geographic content

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Time, Continuity, and Change
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand that historical knowledge and the concept of time are socially influenced constructions that lead historians to be selective in the questions they seek to answer and the evidence they use
  • help learners apply key concepts such as time, chronology, causality, change, conflict, and complexity to explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity
  • enable learners to identify and describe significant historical periods and patterns of change within and across cultures, including but not limited to, the development of ancient cultures and civilizations, the emergence of religious belief systems, the rise of nation-states, and social, economic, and political revolutions
  • guide learners in using such processes of critical historical inquiry to reconstruct and interpret the past, such as using a variety of sources and checking their credibility, validating and weighing evidence for claims, searching for causality, and distinguishing between events and developments that are significant and those that are inconsequential
  • provide learners with opportunities to investigate, interpret, and analyze multiple historical and contemporary viewpoints within and across cultures related to important events, recurring dilemmas, and persistent issues, while employing empathy, skepticism, and critical judgment; and enable learners to apply ideas, theories, and modes of historical inquiry to analyze historical and contemporary developments, and to inform and evaluate actions concerning public policy issues.

Discipline: Technology
Domain: All Research and Information Fluency
Cluster: Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks
  • Process data and report results

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Research
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience. 

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features