Prior to the lesson, locate online the Lewis and Clark journal
entries related to the Blackfeet and Shoshone tribes.
Have students locate excerpts from Lewis and Clark journals
online. Have students share the excerpts with the class and discuss
Discuss with students what can be learned from reading journal
excerpts. Elicit answers
such as a better understanding of one's feelings, first-hand account
of an event, more detail about one's experiences.
Share the journal entries you have about encounters with the
Blackfeet and Shoshone tribes. Ask
students to listen for differences in feelings and reactions to the
two separate tribes. They will notice that the relationship with the Blackfeet
tribe was very violent, while that with the Shoshone was very
Discuss with the class how tribes may have felt with the
"intrusion" of these strangers, the men on the expedition.
What are some reasons they may have reacted in a friendly way?
(share resources, trade opportunities)
What are some reasons they may have reacted in a violent way?
(fear, protecting families and land).
Divide class into two groups.
One group will be the Blackfeet tribe, and one the Shoshone
tribe. Have each group
take some time to talk about different roles in the tribe.
Each member of the group should be assigned a role, i.e. chief,
chief's wife, warrior, tribal leader, healer, religious leader, tribal
elder, child, adolescent male, adolescent female, etc.
Have each student write a journal entry from the point of view
of the person they have been assigned.
The topic of the journal entry should be an encounter with the
Corps of Discovery. Tell
students to consider the feelings, intentions, and thoughts of the
person whose role they assume. For
example, a healer from the Blackfeet tribe may wish the tribe would
cooperate with the Corps so they could share new methods of healing.
Or a warrior from the Shoshone tribe may be distrusting of the
Corps' friendly nature because he has encountered violent groups
Have students share journal entries with the class, and hold a
discussion about the feelings different tribal members may have had as
a result of the arrival ("intrusion") of the Corps of
Discovery. Discuss with the class what their feelings and reactions may
have been in that situation.