Who IS That Woman?


Students will participate in a jigsaw reading activity about the contributions of Sacagawea to the Corps of Discovery. They will also write a poem to reflect what they learned.


Students will analyze the characteristics and contributions of Sacagawea, and will reflect the analysis through artistic and written means.

Subject Area Connections

  • History & Government


  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 5th

Class Time

  • Sessions: One
  • Session Length: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 46-90 minutes


  • One Golden Dollar (dollar coin featuring Sacagawea)
  • Several age-appropriate texts about Sacagawea’s participation in the Corps of Discovery
  • Lined paper
  • Pencils
  • Colored pencils and/or crayons
  • Drawing paper

Lesson Steps

  1. Show the class a Golden Dollar. Ask if the students have ever seen the coin. Ask them what they know about it, who the woman shown on it is, and what they know about her and her life. (You may want to use a K-W-L chart.)
  2. Divide the class into small groups for a “jigsaw” activity. Each group will explore contributions that Sacagawea made to the Corps of Discovery.
  3. Distribute a different story about Sacagawea to each group. Direct the students to take turns reading their group's book aloud. Explain that as they read the text, they are to take notes about Sacagawea’s life, characteristics, and how she aided the Corps of Discovery.
  4. After the students have read and taken notes on the stories, move each student into a second group that contains one member from each of the previous reading groups.
  5. In these new groups, have each student take turns sharing the plot and information of the story that their first group read.
  6. After each group has completed their discussion, regroup the class to conduct a brainstorming activity about their Sacagawea findings. You may want to develop a mind map to list and link ideas relating to the main topic instead of or in addition to the K-W-L chart.
  7. Explain that the students will use the information they collected to write a poem (using a familiar style or format) to describe why Sacagawea was important to the development of our country. The students will follow the writing process in the development of this poem.
  8. Have the students develop their poems and draw a picture to illustrate it.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Have students work in pairs to write their poems.
  • Allow students to write a song rather than a poem.


  • Monitor the summarization process to evaluate whether the students were able to clearly summarize the stories they read.
  • Use the written work to evaluate whether the students were able to follow all the steps of the writing process to successfully develop the poem.

Common Core Standards

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

National Standards

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.