- Westward Journey Nickels
- Students will make connections between the past and the present and compare the Journey of Lewis and Clark with the space flight of Apollo 11.
- Students will be able to sequence events in history using a timeline.
- Students will be able to use the writing process to write a persuasive essay.
Major Subject Area Connections
- Social Studies
Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections
- Language Arts
- Sessions: Five
- Session Length: 45-60 minutes
- Total Length: 151-500 minutes
Students should have a basic knowledge of:
- Space program
- Cape Canaveral
- Commemorative coins
- Writing process
Terms and Concepts
- Obverse (front)
- Reverse (back)
- Thomas Jefferson
- Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery
- Louisiana Purchase
- Apollo space program
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Copies of the worksheets attached to this lesson plan (see "Preparations")
- 1 copy of the Westward Journey Nickel Series™ Lesson Plans Resource Guide (available at www.usmint.gov/kids)
- 1 overhead projector
- Blank overhead transparencies
- 1 copy of a text that gives basic information about the Apollo 11 space flight (see "Preparations")
- One copy of a text that gives basic information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition (see "Preparations")
- Web sites that include basic information about the Apollo 11 space flight
- Web sites that include basic information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition
- A reserved computer lab with Internet access
- Chart paper
- Map of the moon's surface marked with the Apollo 11 landing site
- Make copies of the following:
- One Giant Leap by Mary Ann Fraser
- The Day We Walked on the Moon by George Sullivan
- First on the Moon: What It Was Like When Man Landed on the Moon by Barbara Hehner
- Copies of a text that gives basic information about the Apollo 11 space flight, such as:
- "2005 Nickels Obverse" (from the Resource Guide)
- "2004 Nickels Obverse" (from the Resource Guide)
- "Louisiana Territory Map" (from the Resource Guide)
- "Eisenhower Dollar"
- "Apollo 11Timeline"
- Make overhead transparencies of the following:
- "Westward Journey Nickel Series" worksheet (from the Resource Guide)
- "Writing Rubric" (1 per student)
- "Comparison Chart" (1 per student)
- "Lewis and Clark Timeline" worksheet (1 per student)
- "Apollo 11 Timeline" worksheet (1 per student)
- Bookmark Web sites that include basic information about the Apollo 11 space flight.
- 1 copy of a text that gives basic information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, such as:
- A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark by David A. Adler
- Lewis and Clark: Explorers of the American West by Stephen Kroll
- How We Crossed the West: the Adventures of Lewis & Clark by RosalynSchanzer
- Bookmark Web sites that include basic information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
- Arrange to use the school computer lab for two sessions.
Worksheets and files (PDF)
- Show the students a copy of a text on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Ask the students what they already know about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. List responses on a KW-L chart. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate predictions about what is occurring in different parts of the text. Complete the "W" section of the K-W-L chart with any information they want to know.
- Distribute the "Lewis and Clark Timeline" worksheet. Have the students make a timeline of the important Expedition events during the reading of the text. Read the text aloud to the class. Have students share the different events that they recorded on their timelines. Make a list of events on the chart paper or the board. Complete the "L" section of the KW-L chart.
- Display the "Louisiana Territory Map" overhead transparency. Trace the journey of Lewis and Clark from start to finish on the transparency.
- Ask the students what they think Lewis and Clark would have sent or brought back to President Jefferson (Indian artifacts; animal skins, bones, and antlers; live animals; and plant, soil, and mineral samples). Ask the students where they think people could have seen these items. Explain to the students that the objects collected by Lewis and Clark
- were displayed at the White House. Some were on display at Jefferson's home (Monticello), but those were viewed mostly by friends who visited him. The objects were not placed where all people could see them until President Jefferson gave them to Charles Wilson Peale for his new museum in Philadelphia. 5. Display the "2004 Nickels Obverse" overhead transparency. Ask the students to examine it and tell you what they know about it. The students should be able to identify this as the obverse (front) of a nickel and that it depicts President Thomas Jefferson.
- Display the "2005 Nickels Obverse" overhead transparency. Ask the students to examine it and tell you what they notice about this picture. The students should be able to observe that it depicts a different image of President Thomas Jefferson. Explain to the students that it 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 Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who led the expedition that explored our country's western lands 200 years ago. Review from the text that Thomas Jefferson was president during the expedition and was the one who sent them on their journey.
- Distribute the "Westward Journey Nickel Series" worksheet. Ask the students to begin the worksheet by recording what they see in each nickel's design that relates to the Expedition. Ask the students to hypothesize why each image was selected and its relationship to the Expedition. Have the students use their timeline to fill in the information and record their answers on their "Westward Journey Nickel Series" worksheet.
- Allow the students five to ten minutes to complete the worksheets individually.
- Lead a class discussion regarding the students' answers on their completed "Westward Journey Nickel Series" worksheets. Make sure that the students have a basic understanding of the Expedition.
- Show the students a text on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Ask the students what they already know about the Space Program and any recent events in the news. List responses on the board using a K-W-L chart. Complete the "K" and "W" part of the chart. As a group, preview the text and illustrations to generate predictions about what is occurring in different parts of the text.
- Distribute the "Apollo 11 Timeline" worksheet. Have the students make a timeline of the important events of the flight using the list of events during the reading of the text. Read the text aloud to the class. While reading, stress the place where the spacecraft was launched (locate it on a map) and where it landed (locate it on a map of the moon). Also stress the different parts of the craft including the Saturn V rocket, the command module, and the landing module. Emphasize the difference between the Apollo craft and the space shuttle in how they landed back on Earth. Have the students share the different events they listed on their timeline. Make a list of events on the chart paper or the board.
- Display the diagram on the "Apollo 11 Timeline" overhead transparency. Trace the flight of Apollo 11 from start to finish. Explain that the moon is 384,400 kilometers or 238,856 miles from the earth. This distance is more than the length of 4 million football fields. The moon, Earth's one natural satellite, is more than one quarter the size of Earth.
- Ask the students what they think the Apollo 11 astronauts would have brought back with them (moon rocks). Ask the students where they think people can see these rocks now (the National Air and Space Museum). Ask the students why the rocks would be placed there (for all people to view).
- Display the "Eisenhower Dollar" overhead transparency. Ask the students to examine the first image and tell you what they know about this picture. The students should be able to identify this as the obverse (front) of a coin and that it depicts Dwight D. Eisenhower. Explain to students that Eisenhower served as the 34th president of the United States. During his presidency, Sputnik I, the first man-made object to orbit the Earth, was launched by the U.S.S.R. This was the beginning of the "race for space" to see which country would put a man on the moon first. As president, Eisenhower was deeply interested in the use of space technology. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, which established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
- Ask the students to examine the second image on the transparency. Ask the students if they know why the eagle is on the coin. After hearing responses, explain to the students that the Eisenhower dollar's reverse shows the insignia worn by Apollo 11 astronauts on their historic trip to the moon. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped from the spacecraft "Eagle" to become the first man to walk on the moon. The Apollo 11 mission achieved its primary goal: to land men on the moon and return the crew safely to Earth. Its success paved the way for the lunar landings that followed and even the plans today to return to the moon and go on to Mars.
- Have the students compare their two timelines from the previous sessions. Have them write down some of the similarities and differences they see. Record their responses on chart paper.
- Read the following quote to the students: "Probably nervous, excited, and anxious to get underway, the soldiers who had camped [at Camp DuBois] for five months could little imagine that their departure would be heralded with such fanfare [two hundred years later]. Yet their departure merits all this attention and more because, in a sense, Camp DuBois was the Cape Canaveral of 1804, the launching pad for what has since become two hundred years of pioneering achievements in exploration and discovery by heroic young men and women of the United States. Their exploits have been recorded on land and on sea, beneath the oceans of the earth, and on the surface of the moon."
- Herman J. Viola, a historian, said this in his keynote address on May 14, 2004, for the Signature Event of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration. The Event took place at the Camp River Dubois Historic Site.
- Ask the students what two programs Herman Viola was comparing in this quote (the explorers of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the astronaut-explorers of the Apollo 11 mission).
- Explain to the students that they will be researching the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Apollo 11 mission. Distribute the "Comparison Chart" to the students. Have the students enter any information already discussed from the K-W-L charts.
- Take the students to the computer lab. Direct the students to begin their research.
Sessions 4 and 5
- Allow the students more time in the computer lab to do research if necessary.
- Explain to the students that they will be writing a persuasive essay. Distribute the "Persuasive Essay Organization Sheet." Have each of the students choose one of the two explorations and write an essay. Pretending to be the President of the United States, each student should try to persuade the people of the United States that the exploration should be undertaken, then give reasons for the choice. Distribute the "Writing Rubric" and review it with the students.
- Allow the students time to work on their essays using the standard writing process.
Differentiated Learning Options
- Have students make their presentation orally.
- Find Spanish or other-language Web sites.
- Allow students to dictate their responses to a scribe.
- Have students make their presentation using multimedia.
- Have students debate the justification for their choice of exploration.
- Have students research the Ohio Quarter from the 50 State Quarters Program in relation to the space program.
- Have students research and report on the famous quote from Neil Armstrong when he first stepped onto the moon.
- Use the "Writing Rubric" to evaluate the students' attainment of the lesson objectives.
- Use the "Comparison Chart" 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