- Westward Journey Nickels
- Students will describe how early American Indian cultures developed in North America.
- Students will describe how geographic characteristics impacted the development of American Indian cultures.
- Students will compare the experiences of the Plains Indians and the Clatsop Indians.
- Students will write a five-paragraph comparative essay.
Major Subject Area Connections
- Social Studies
- Language Arts
- Sessions: Five
- Session Length: 45-60 minutes
- Total Length: 151-500 minutes
- Whole group
- Individual work
Students should have a basic knowledge of:
- Writing process
- American bison (buffalo)
- American Indians
Terms and Concepts
- Obverse (front)
- Reverse (back)
- Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery
- Louisiana Purchase
- Plains Indians
- Clatsop Indians
- 1 overhead projector
- Copies of the worksheets attached to this lesson plan (see "Preparations")
- 1 copy of the Westward Journy Nickel Series™ Resource Guide (available at www.usmint.gov/kids)
- 1 copy of a text that provides basic information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition (see "Preparations")
- Chart paper
- Blank overhead transparencies
- Web sites that include basic information about the Lakota Sioux (Plains) and Clatsop (Northwest) Indians (see "Preparations")
- Copies of texts that provide basic historical information about the Plains and the Clatsop Indians (see "Preparations")
- Computer lab with Internet access
- Writing journals
- Make copies of the following worksheets attached to this lesson plan:
- "Clatsop Research Guide" (1 per student in group)
- "Plains Indians Research Guide" (1 per student in group)
- "Five-Paragraph Essay Organization Sheet" (1 per student)
- "Venn Diagram" (1 per student)
- "Writing Rubric Score Sheet" (1 per student)
- Make an overhead transparency of each of the following:
- "Clatsop Research Guide"
- "Plains Indians Research Guide"
- "Venn Diagram"
- "Louisiana Territory Map" (from the Resource Guide)
- "American Indian Tribes Overlay" (from the Resource Guide)
- "American Bison Nickel Reverse" page (from the Resource Guide)
- "2005 Nickels Obverse" page (from the Resource Guide)
- "Ocean in View Nickel Reverse" page (from the Resource Guide)
- Locate a text that provides basic historical information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, such as:
- Lewis and Clark: Explorers of the American West by Steven Kroll.
- How We Crossed the West: the Adventures of Lewis & Clark by Rosalyn Schanzer.
- A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark by David A. Adler.
- Lewis and Clark: from Ocean to Ocean by Harold Faber.
- Locate copies of texts that provide basic historical information about the Plains Indians and Clatsop (Northwest) Indians, such as:
- Plains Indians by Christopher Davis
- How the Plains Indians Lived by George S. Fichter
- The Sioux by Alice Osinski
- The Sioux Indians: Hunters and Warriors of the Plains by Sonia Bleeker
- On the trail of Sacagawea by Peter Lourie.
- Indian Tribes of America by Marion E. Gridley
- Encyclopedia of North American Indian Tribes by Bill Yenne.
- Indians of the Pacific Northwest: A History (Civilization of the American Indian Series) by Robert H. Ruby
- Arrange to use the school computer lab.
- Bookmark Internet sites that provide basic information about the Plains and Clatsop Indians, such as:
Worksheets and files (PDF)
- Introduce a text on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Ask the students what they already know about Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. List responses on chart paper. As a class, preview the text and illustrations to generate predictions about what will occur in the text.
- Read the text aloud to the class. Attend to unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts.
- Have the students retrieve their writing journals. Ask the students to recall the major events that occurred in the text by listing them in their journals. Lead a class discussion in which students share their journal entries. Record the students' responses on a long piece of chart paper to create a timeline.
- Display the "Lewis and Clark Route Overlay" overhead transparency. As a class, trace the journey of Lewis and Clark from start to finish.
- Place the "American Indian Tribes Overlay" on top of the "Lewis and Clark Route Overlay" transparency. Point out the locations of the Teton Lakota Sioux, Mandan, Cheyenne, and Crow tribes. Explain that these tribes are categorized as Plains Indians. Point out the location of the Clatsop Indians. Explain that the Clatsop are characterized as Pacific Northwest Indians.
- Display the "2005 Nickels Obverse" overhead transparency. Ask the students to examine this picture and tell you what they know about it. The students should be able to identify this image as the obverse (front) of a nickel and the person on it as President Thomas Jefferson. Tell the students that the obverse design for the 2005 nickels bears, for the first time in 67 years, a new likeness of America's third president, Thomas Jefferson. The "Liberty" inscription on the coin is based upon Jefferson's own handwriting.
- Explain that our country changed its nickels beginning in 2004 to tell the story of two men named Lewis and Clark, who led an expedition that explored our country's Western lands 200 years ago.
- Display the 2005 "American Bison Nickel Reverse" overhead transparency. Ask the students if they can identify the animal on the coin. Guide the students to identify the animal as a bison. Explain to the students that the American bison is not really a buffalo— no species of buffalo is native to North America. But people have used the term "buffalo" to describe the American bison since before Lewis and Clark's time, so the terms are virtually interchangeable in common usage Relate the image back to the part of the text where Lewis and Clark are on the Great Plains. Ask students to hypothesize why the bison is on the nickel. Guide student to conclude that, at the time of the expedition, millions of bison roamed the Plains, and that the members of the Expedition used the bison to meet basic survival needs such as food, clothing, and shelter.
- Display the 2005 "Ocean in View Nickel Reverse" overhead transparency. Ask the students to identify the location illustrated on the coin. Lead the students to conclude that this is an image of the Pacific Ocean. Refer to the part in the text where Lewis and Clark first see the ocean. Ask the students to hypothesize why the Pacific Ocean is on the nickel. Guide the students to conclude that, when Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific Ocean, they had reached an important milestone in their journey. Discuss how they may have felt having reached this destination.
- Display the "Lewis and Clark Route Overlay." Ask the students where along the route Lewis and Clark encountered bison. Guide the students to conclude that Lewis and Clark encountered the bison on the Great Plains. Note the location of the Great Plains on the map. Ask student where along the route Lewis and Clark saw the Pacific Ocean. Guide students to conclude that Lewis and Clark encountered the Pacific Ocean at the westernmost point of their journey. Note this location on the map.
- Display the "American Indian Tribes Overlay" on top of the "Louis and Clark Route Overlay." Ask the students to create a T-chart in their writing journals. Have them label the left column "Plains Indians" and the right column "Clatsop Indians."
- Ask the students what types of animals and plants they would expect to find on the Plains. Ask them to think about the weather they would expect on the Plains. Have the students describe how they think the American Indians would have lived in this environment in the "Plains Indians" column.
- Ask students what types of plants and animals they would expect to find along the Pacific Northwest coast. Ask them to think about the weather they would expect in the Pacific Northwest. Have the students list how they think the American Indians would have lived in this environment in the "Clatsop Indians" column.
- Have the students share their responses. Record the responses on chart paper.
- Collect their journals when they are finished.
- Review the timeline, chart, and maps from the last session. Highlight the differences between the lifestyles of the Plains Indians and the Clatsop Indians from the chart. Tell the students that now that they have made some hypotheses about these tribes and their environments, they will conduct research to determine if the hypotheses are correct.
- Divide the students into two groups. Explain to the students that one group will research the Plains Indians (Teton Lakota Sioux, Mandan, Cheyenne, and Crow). The other group will research the Clatsop Indians, who lived in the Pacific Northwest.
- Distribute the "Clatsop Research Guide" to one group and the "Plains Indians Research Guide" to the other. Explain to the students that they will be using the bookmarked Web sites and some of the suggested books to find information to fill in the research guides. Take the students to the computer lab.
- Direct the students to begin their research. If necessary, guide the students to see the relationship between each tribe's environment and its way of life.
- If necessary, give the students additional time to research.
- Display the "Venn Diagram" overhead transparency. Distribute one "Venn Diagram" worksheet to each student. Complete a class Venn Diagram comparing the lifestyles of the Plains Indians and the Clatsop Indians. Have a student in one group give a lifestyle fact. If students in the other group have the same lifestyle fact for their group, put it in the middle of the diagram. If not, then put it in the appropriate section of the diagram. Repeat the process with other students from each group. Students will fill in their Venn Diagram from the class Venn Diagram.
- For each of the lifestyle facts that differ, ask the students to think about the extent to which the environment affected that fact. If necessary, guide the students to see the relationship between the tribes' environment and their way of life.
- Pair the students so that each student who completed a "Clatsop Research Guide" works with a student who completed a "Plains Indians Research Guide." Distribute a blank "Clatsop Research Guide" to each student who completed the "Plains Indians Research Guide" and a blank "Plains Indian Research Guide" to each student who completed a "Clatsop Research Guide."
- Have the student pairs discuss their research and complete the blank research guides.
- Display the "Clatsop Research Guide" overhead transparency. Using the students' responses, create a model research guide. Display the "Plains Indians Research Guide." Using the students' responses, create a model research guide.
- Distribute one "Writing Rubric Score Sheet" and one "Five-Paragraph Essay Organization Sheet" to each student. Review the sheet and paragraph formation.
- Have the students fill in information from their research guides and the Venn Diagrams.
- Have students use the writing process to complete the essay.
Differentiated Learning Options
- Have the students research in pairs.
- Have students match pictures of the two tribes with the appropriate area.
- Have students create triaramas based on their research for a museum walk.
- Have students do a news show and interview each other on their research.
Have students do a news show and interview each other on their research. Videotape the news shows using a video camera and video production software.
- Use writing journals to assess understanding during the first session.
- Use the "Writing Rubric" to evaluate the students' attainment of the lesson objectives.
- Use the "Research Guides" worksheets to evaluate the students' research.
Common Core Standards
Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.4 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
- L.4.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
- Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).
- Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.
- Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.
- Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).
- Form and use prepositional phrases.
- Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
- Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).
- L.4.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
- Use correct capitalization.
- Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
- Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
- Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.
Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Craft and Structure
- RI.4.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
- RI.4.5. Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.
- RI.4.6. Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.
Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
- RI.4.7. Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
- RI.4.8. Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
- RI.4.9. Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: History and Nature of Science
Grade(s): Grades K–4
- Science as a human endeavor