Lewis and Clark

Grades 4, 5 and 8

The Lewis and Clark Traveling Trunk helps bring the history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to life in a hands‐on, interactive way. Students explore and touch replicated Expedition objects to learn about the purpose of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and about the Corps of Discovery's encounters with Native Americans. The trunk includes topic‐specific artifacts, primary source documents, and lesson plans. 

Trunk contents include:

  • Instructions and strategies for using the Lewis and Clark Traveling Trunk in the classroom.
  • A list of Lewis and Clark Traveling Trunk content and topics relevant to Oregon Department of Education State Standards.
  • A Bibliography on Lewis and Clark recommended reading for students and adults.
  • An Expedition Timeline that provides a chronological summary of the Expedition's journey from 1803 to 1806 and an Event Timeline that places the Expedition in a broader historical context.
  • The Lewis and Clark: Historical Narrative for Teachers helps teachers place the Expedition in a broader historical context. The Lewis and Clark: Historical Narrative for Students is a one‐page summary of some of the key themes affiliated with the Lewis and Clark Expedition that can be copied and passed out to students.
  • Trunk objects available for students to handle in a supervised setting. A document called Description of Objects provides teachers with background information on each object and how it relates to the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • Objects and replicas include: 15 star flag, compass, quill pen & powdered ink, brass tinder box with tow linen, charcloth, flint and steel, lead canister, bullet mold, candlemold with candlewicking, tallow candle, jaw harp, moccasins, salt, parched corn, beads, wampum, burning glasses,brass thimbles, Jefferson peace medal, tobacco twist, hawk bells, red flannel.
  • Two lesson plans (two each for elementary and middle school students) designed to enhance the use of the elements included in the trunk.

Lesson Plans for Grades 4 and 5

The lesson plan, Mapping: Getting the Lay of the Land , allows students to trace the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The lesson also helps students understand the difference between primary and secondary sources, while giving them the opportunity to see replicas of Expedition maps and journal entries.

The lesson plan, To Trade or Not to Trade , lets students touch and discover objects in the Lewis and Clark Traveling Trunk and allows them to understand the importance of trade relationships between Lewis and Clark and the Native Americans they encountered.

Lesson Plans for Grade 8

The lesson plan, Making the Unknown Known through Maps allows students to trace the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and practice mapping skills involving scale and compass directions.

The lesson plan, Trade and Diplomacy: "Tokens of Friendship," helps students understand the meaning of trade and identify the conditions necessary for successful trade relations between Lewis and Clark and the Native Americans they encountered.

Download a description of the Lewis and Clark Traveling Trunk (PDF)

If you would like to schedule a rental, please fill out and return the Traveling Trunk Request Form. If you would like to reserve a trunk by phone, have additional questions or would like to view any of the Traveling Trunks' lesson plans or content, please contact OHS Museum Education at education@ohs.org or 503.306.5223.