When Ben was about nine, we went with friends to an IMAX film about Lewis and Clark at the local science center. It was a great film, and we wanted to know more. We became fascinated with learning everything we could about the lives of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. We read books, watched films, listened to music, and played games related to their expedition with the Corps of Discovery. We hadn’t planned any of this ahead of time, but it was nice the way it unfolded. The following acrostic poem was one we wrote collaboratively while immersing ourselves in their lives. It was a fun way to talk about and express some of what we had learned together.
Lewis and Clark led the Corps of Discovery on an
Eight thousand mile expedition
West from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean.
Indians from many tribes helped, traded and hunted with the Corps.
Sacagawea, a Shoshone woman, guided them on their journey.
A Newfoundland dog
Named Seaman traveled with them as a faithful companion
During their many dangerous and difficult adventures.
Canoes carried them up and downstream along rivers
Like the Missouri, Clearwater, Snake, and Columbia.
Although they ventured through
Rain, rapids, and the Rocky Mountains, the Corps of Discovery
Kept pursuing their dream until the end.
* * * * * * * * * *
Here are some of the Lewis and Clark titles we enjoyed:
How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark by Rosalyn Schanzer
Will Clark: Boy Adventurer by Katharine E. Wilkie
Meriwether Lewis: Boy Explorer by Charlotta M. Bebenroth
Seaman: The Dog Who Explored the West with Lewis and Clark by Gail Langer Karwoski
Lewis and Clark and Me: A Dog’s Tale by Laurie Myers
Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (Ken Burns’ film)
Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West (National Geographic IMAX film)
Lewis & Clark: Tools of Survival (video produced by Patrick and Patti Winters)
Lewis & Clark: Songs of the Journey (performed by Bobby Horton)