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Facing the Challenge

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Summary

Students will be able to identify and understand the impact of the environment on human experiences. Students will conduct research using the Internet and other available resources. Students will use research to summarize their findings. Students will understand the chronology of a major historical event.

Coin Type(s)

  • Nickel

Coin Program(s)

  • Westward Journey Nickel Series

Objectives

  • Students will be able to identify and understand the impact of the environment on human experiences.
  • Students will conduct research using the Internet and other available resources.
  • Students will use research to summarize their findings.
  • Students will understand the chronology of a major historical event.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Technology

Grades

  • Sixth grade

Class Time

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

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Louisiana Purchase
  • Chronological order

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery

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 information about the final half of Lewis and Clark’s journey (see “Preparations”)
  • Web sites that include information and examples of historic documents and journals about Lewis and Clark’s journey (see “Preparations”)
  • Texts that provide information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition (see “Preparations”)
  • Chart paper and markers
  • Overhead transparency markers
  • White construction paper (11 by 14 inches)
  • Markers or colored pencils, pencils

Preparations

  • Make copies of the following:
    • “Westward Journey Nickel SeriesTM” worksheet ( 1 per student)
    • “Challenges Along the Trail” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Lewis and Clark Route” worksheet from the Resource Guide (1 per student)
  • Make an overhead transparency of each of the following:
    • “Louisiana Territory Map” (from the Resource Guide)
    • “Western United States Map” (from the Resource Guide)
    • “Lewis and Clark’s Route Overlay” (from the Resource Guide)
    • “Ocean in View Nickel Reverse” page (from the Resource Guide)
    • Introduction pages (2) (from the Resource Guide)
    • “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet
    • “Challenges Along the Trail” worksheet
  • Locate texts that provide basic historical information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, such as:
    • To the Pacific (Lewis and Clark) by John Hamilton
    • Sacagawea (Lewis & Clark Expedition) by Joseph Bruchac
    • The Travels of Lewis and Clark by Laura Bergen
    • How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark by Rosalyn Schanzer
    • The Incredible Journey of Lewis & Clark by Rhonda Blumberg
    • As Far as the Eye Can Reach by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab.
  • Bookmark appropriate Internet sites that include information about Lewis and Clark’s journey, such as:
  • Create a scavenger hunt based on student-created posters after Session 4.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/190.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Display the “Louisiana Territory Map” overhead transparency. Explain that the shape of our country was not always the same as it is today. Point out the area that was the United States before the Louisiana Purchase.
  2. Review the Louisiana Purchase, discussing with the students who explored the land and why. Explain, if necessary, that President Thomas Jefferson sent soldiers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and the Corps of Discovery to explore the newly acquired land. Show the students the area that Lewis and Clark explored. Note the territory’s position in relation to your school’s location.
  3. Display the “Western United States Map” overhead transparency with the “Lewis and Clark’s Route Overlay.” Activate prior knowledge by asking the students the following questions:
    • “When did the expedition begin?”
    • “Who led the expedition?”
    • “What was the purpose of the expedition?”
    • “Why would a waterway be important?”
    • “Where are some of the places Lewis and Clark stayed?”
    Student responses should be based on prior knowledge. Explain, if necessary, that the expedition began in 1804, that Lewis and Clark led the expedition, and that one of President Jefferson’s missions for Lewis and Clark was to find a waterway (called the Northwest Passage) to the Pacific Ocean from the eastern states.
  4. Explain to the students that, to commemorate this exploration, the United States government is producing five new nickel designs between 2004 and 2006. These new nickel designs make up the Westward Journey Nickel Series™.
  5. Distribute a “Westward Journey Nickel Series™” worksheet to each student. Ask the students to look at the images on the worksheet. Ask them to look for similarities between the three coin reverse images. Guide the students to the conclusion that all three images contain:
    • The Latin phrase “E Pluribus Unum,” which is translated as “out of many, one”
    • The coin’s denomination
    • The phrase “United States of America”
    Tell the students that these features are required by law to appear on every coin.
  6. Tell the students that, now that they have identified similarities between all the coins, they will next discover what makes each of these coins unique. Ask the students to begin the worksheet by recording what they see in each nickel’s design that may relate to the Corps of Discovery. Ask the students to hypothesize why each image was selected and its relationship to the Corps of Discovery. If desired, allow the students to use their text books. Ask the students to record their answers on their “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet.
  7. Allow the students time to complete the worksheet individually. Pair the students and allow them to collaborate for five to ten minutes.
  8. Lead a class discussion regarding the students’ answers on their completed “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheets. Use the students’ responses to complete a model “Westward Journey Nickel Series” worksheet on the overhead transparency.
  9. Using the completed “Westward Journey Nickel Series” overhead transparency, briefly review the chronology of the journey.

Session 2

  1. Display the “Louisiana Territory Map” overhead transparency. Review the information and chronology discussed in Session 1.
  2. Based on the students’ prior knowledge, have the students predict the types of challenges Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery may have faced.
  3. Discuss some of the challenges the soldiers may have had to overcome during the journey and the decisions that had to be made. Using chart paper, create a K-W-L chart. Record the student’s answers.
  4. Tell the students they will conduct research on the challenges Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery faced during their journey.
  5. Distribute a “Challenges Along the Trail” worksheet to each student and review the directions.
  6. Escort the students to the school computer lab. Using bookmarked Internet sites, direct the students to work in pairs to learn about the places where the Corps of Discovery traveled and the challenges the explorers faced.
  7. Allow enough time for student research.

Session 3

  1. Display the “Challenges Along the Trail” overhead transparency. Lead a class discussion regarding the students’ research findings from Session 2. Record the class discussion on the overhead transparency.
  2. Review the K-W-L chart. Determine what the students learned and record it on the chart.
  3. Display the “Ocean in View Nickel Reverse” overhead transparency. Lead a class discussion regarding the significance of the ocean image and the quote from Clark’s map journal. Students may conclude that the ocean view marked the end of the first half of the journey and that they expressed the joy of completing a major accomplishment.
  4. Ask the students about the meaning of Clark’s quote on the coin, “Ocean in view! O! The joy!” Student responses should include the explorers’ excitement and relief over finally seeing the Pacific Ocean after more than a year of difficult travel.
  5. In small groups, have the students summarize the discussion about the challenges the Corps of Discovery faced and how the accomplishment is important enough to be on the Ocean in View Nickel.
  6. Direct students to write a one- page summary based on the “Challenges Along the Trail” discussion in their notebooks.
  7. Allow sufficient time for students to complete their summaries.
  8. Collect the students’ research materials and summaries.

Session 4

  1. Display the K-W-L chart and review the information and discussion from the first three sessions.
  2. Display the “Lewis and Clark Route Overlay” overhead transparency and distribute the “Lewis and Clark’s Route” worksheet.
  3. Using the findings from their research in Sessions 1 and 2, have the students discuss specific challenges and solutions that Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery faced at various places along the trail. Mark these areas on the overhead transparency.
  4. Tell the students that they will work in pairs to create a poster showing the details of one of the challenges the Corps faced and the solutions the used to overcome it. They need to show all of the items from the “Challenges Along the Trail” worksheet, a caption explaining the challenge, and an exciting headline. Each pair should research a different challenge if possible.
  5. The students should use the completed “Challenges Along the Trail” worksheet and the K-W-L chart as a guide. Allow the students time to research additional details using available texts and Internet sites about their chosen challenge, if needed.
  6. Once the posters are complete, they should be displayed in chronological order in the classroom.
  7. Tell the students that there will be a teacher-created scavenger hunt with questions about the challenges shown on the posters. The scavenger hunt will be completed in the next session and will be part of the assessment for the lesson.  NOTE: Create scavenger hunt questions based on student-created posters.

Session 5

  1. Briefly review the content and chronology of the challenge posters displayed in the class room.
  2. Distribute the teacher-created scavenger hunt to each student.
  3. Invite the students to examine the poster display and complete the questions on the scavenger hunt.
  4. Once the students have completed the scavenger hunt, collect the answers and review them with the class.
  5. Invite any students who want to share the content of their poster with the class to do so.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to have a scribe for written sections of the lesson.
  • Allow student to work in pairs to complete the research part of the worksheet.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students create a “Who’s Who” booklet for the journey of Lewis and Clark, providing 7 to 10 facts about key members of the Corp of Discovery, with illustrations.
  • Have students create a newspaper article reporting on the challenges Lewis and Clark faced on their journey. Students can use the “Challenges Along the Trail” worksheet as a guide.
  • Have students read poetry from various authors about overcoming difficult challenges. Students should then write a poem about the challenges that Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery faced.

Use the student research, written summary, posters, and scavenger hunt responses to evaluate the students’ ability to meet the lesson objectives.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.6.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
    • Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.
  • W.6.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
    • Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.
  • W.6.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
    • Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
    • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Production and Distribution of Writing
Standards:

  • W.6.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.6.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 6.)
  • W.6.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.6 Language
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.6.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
    • Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
    • Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
    • Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others' writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
  • L.6.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.6.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
  • RI.6.5. Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
  • RI.6.6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.6.7. Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
  • RI.6.8. Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
  • RI.6.9. Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.6.1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RI.6.2. Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
  • RI.6.3. Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.6.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
  • W.6.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
  • W.6.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres [e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories] in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics”).
    • Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not”).

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 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: 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: 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