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The Journey of Sacagawea

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Students will examine the life of Sacagawea, the exceptional woman chosen to appear on the Golden Dollar, and will write journal entries based on their research.

Coin Type(s)

  • Dollar

Coin Program(s)

  • Native American $1 Coin


  • Students will learn about the story of Sacagawea.
  • Students will learn about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • Students will practice journal writing.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts


  • Third grade
  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade

Class Time

Sessions: One
Session Length: 90 minutes
Total Length: 46-90 minutes


  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Golden Dollar
  • Historical figures
  • Journal writing
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Sacagawea


  • Pomp, the True Story of the Baby on the Sacagawea Dollar, an e-book for kids by Liz Sonneborn, Chapters 1 and 2, at
  • Writing paper
  • Drawing Paper
  • Pencils
  • Colored Pencils or Crayons



Bookmark the e-book for easy access.

  1. Show your students the Golden Dollar with Sacagawea on the front. If you can't get an actual coin, you can display the coloring page or an online photo.
  2. Create a K-W-L chart to record what your students know and what they'd like to know about Sacagawea. Display this chart for the students.
  3. Have the students read chapters 1 and 2 of Pomp, the True Story of the Baby on the Sacagawea Dollar. Students can read the story aloud or in groups. If possible, the students should read this story online, and then conduct research on Sacagawea using the Internet.
  4. Tell the students they will get to imagine what it would be like to be Sacagawea on her journey. Have them create a journal that she could have written. Their journal should include as many dates and descriptions of what they (Sacagawea) saw as possible. They should also include sketches or pictures.
  5. Have the students bind their journals and share it with others.


Differentiated Learning Options

Have sudents write about how Sacagawea might feel about having her image on a coin.


Have students research additional facts about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and report on their findings.

Evaluate the facts and descriptions recorded in the students' journals.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Culture and Cultural Diversity
Grade(s): Grades K–12

Teachers should:

  • assist learners to understand and apply the concept of culture as an integrated whole that governs the functions and interactions of language, literature, arts, traditions, beliefs, values, and behavior patterns
  • enable learners to analyze and explain how groups, societies, and cultures address human needs and concerns
  • guide learners as they predict how experiences may be interpreted by people from diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference
  • encourage learners to compare and analyze societal patterns for transmitting and preserving culture while adapting to environmental and social change
  • enable learners to assess the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups
  • have learners interpret patterns of behavior as reflecting values and attitudes which contribute to or pose obstacles to cross-cultural understanding
  • guide learners in constructing reasoned judgments about specific cultural responses to persistent human issues
  • have learners explain and apply ideas, theories, and modes of inquiry drawn from anthropology and sociology in the examination of persistent issues and social problems

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

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

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