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LRC Program: Explore Lewis and Clark

Dates Available: Monday through Thursday during the school year, with limited availability and before 12pm only

Grade Level: 3rd–5th

Minimum Number of Students: 10 students

Maximum Number of Students: 28 students

Program Duration: 1.5 hours 

Location: This program is conducted at the Library and Research Center at 225 S. Skinker Blvd. 

Through interactive discussions and activities facilitated by our librarians, archivists, and educators, students will be fully immersed in the choices and challenges that Lewis and Clark encountered on their journey west. This experience will give students the rare opportunity to interact with early 19th-century maps, letters from Thomas Jefferson, and Lewis and Clark’s journals. 

About the Program

  • At the start of the program, students will learn about what the Library and Research Center is and how the public can use it. As a group, they'll observe a statue of Lewis and Clark and discuss the significance of the explorers' journey. Then they'll get the chance to see original manuscripts and critically assess the expedition's goals.
  • At Stop 1 students will dig deeper into the expedition's objectives, including the explorers' interest in and motivations for making contact with Native American communities. Primary sources at this stop include a letter to the explorers from Thomas Jefferson and a transcript of a speech delivered by Clark to a Native American group. 
  • At Stop 2 students will look at one of the most important things that Lewis and Clark did on their journey: map making! Students will get to see a variety of maps from the time period and discuss natural versus political boundaries, different types of maps, and the importance of maps. They'll also learn about the various steps involved in creating a map.
  • At Stop 3 students will look at one of Lewis and Clark’s journals and examine the wildlife the explorers encountered on their journey. Students will analyze the ways in which Lewis and Clark drew and described novel plants and animals. They'll also compare Lewis and Clark's recording methods with their own journaling and note-taking practices.

Please note that the above stops may not occur in chronological order. Also, portions of each stop may be cut out if your group arrives late.

Please read our K-12 Policies before booking this program.

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Critical Thinking
Regardless of which field-trip experience you choose, all of our K–12 programs are designed to emphasize the critical thinking skills students use at museums, in the classroom, and as lifelong learners. Each one facilitates experiences in which learners can individually and collaboratively use Museum spaces, objects, and content to:

  • compare and contrast the past and the present
  • make connections between the people, places, and stories of history and their own experiences
  • comprehend and evaluate multiple perspectives and past choices
  • express and support their personal views on history

Here are some Pre-Visit Activities and other resources.

Program Modifications
We understand that many factors may cause your bus to be late. However, due to other group reservations and the schedules of our museum educators, we can't extend the length of your visit past your reservation time.

If you arrive late, we'll still do our best to deliver the program you reserved. However, modifications may be necessary depending on your arrival time. (NOTE: Excessively late groups can expect significant program changes.)

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