Teaching History with Children’s Literature: Lewis and Clark and Me

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Lewis and Clark and Me, written  by Laurie Myers and illustrated by Michael Dooling, tells the extraordinary account of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s exploration of the Louisiana Territory through the eyes of Lewis’s dog Seaman.  Myers based her story on the explorers’ actual written accounts and ends each chapter with an appropriate excerpt from Lewis’s journal.  I found Seaman’s “first-person” narrative  of his adventures extremely engaging.  What a great way for a child to learn history.

Connections

Lewis and Clark and Me can be used to enhance the study of the westward expansion era in United States history (VA SOL USI.8) in the fifth-grade classroom.  This book would be a good way to capture the imagination of the student who finds the usual presentation of history dry and boring.

Additional Resources 

  • National Geographic’s excellent interactive journey log documents each leg of Lewis and Clark’s expedition through journal entries, photos, drawings and maps.
  • If you are both a history-lover and a dog-lover, you will enjoy this PBS description of Seaman’s journey with Lewis and Clark which is taken from historical accounts.
  • Lewis and Clark collected many new plants, animals, and minerals on their journey and packed them in specimen boxes.  Students can make their own specimen boxes and collect nature samples in an activity that provides a good cross-curricular connection with science.

Book:  Lewis and Clark and Me
Author:
  Laurie Myers
Illustrator:  Michael Dooling
Publisher:  Henry Holt and Company
Publication Date:  August, 2002
Pages: 80
Grade Range:  K-5
ISBN-13:  9780805063684