Teaching Civics with Children’s Literature: How We Crossed the West


In the book How We Crossed the West The Adventures of Lewis & Clark, President Thomas Jefferson and the Congress of the United States asked Captain Lewis to explore the Western rivers across North America to the western ocean.  Lewis asked friend, William Clark to help lead the Corps of discovery on a journey that would lead to many new discoveries. The expeditition began on May 1, 1804. Throughout the two year journey the corps of discovery accomplished new detailed maps, plants and animals unknown to science, and established peaceful relations with the Indians. On Sunday September 21, 1806, the explores successfully returned to St. Louis with new discoveries from their two year long journey.

Curriculum Connections
How We Crossed the West can be used for K through 5th grade students. This book describes the route Lewis & Clark took from Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean. On their route to the Pacific ocean they discovered unknown plants and animals. Also they learned the customs, languages, and artifacts of western Indian nations. The children are able to learn new types of plants discovered by the corps like osage orange, salmonberry, and prairie apple. A teacher can include maps of the routes Lewis & Clark discovered on their expedition. (VA SOL 2.10a,d,e; 3.10b; 3.11d)

Additional Resources

Book: How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis & Clark
 Rosalyn Schanzer
National Geographic Society
Publication Date:

0 Responses to “Teaching Civics with Children’s Literature: How We Crossed the West”

Comments are currently closed.