At just 16 years old, Sacagawea (/səˌkɑːɡəˈwiːə/; also Sakakawea or Sacajawea; May c. 1788 – December 20, 1812, or April 9, 1884) met and helped the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The expedition was charted to explore the Louisiana Territory. Sacagawea helped the expedition by establishing cultural contacts with Native American populations and with her knowledge of the natural world. She also helped expand the group’s knowledge of natural history in the regions they ventured. They traveled thousands of miles from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean. Sacagawea was a vital part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
This video does a great job of showing her life story. It not only describes her notable work with the Lewis and Clark Expedition but also explains her life before and after that journey. This video is appropriate for all ages. It addresses her marriage honestly, but due to its nature, that segment may cause students to ask questions you as a teacher may need to prepare for.
This video is a great way to celebrate Sacagawea during Women’s History Month and all year. This video can easily be incorporated into US History lessons and State History lessons when discussing this time period. An activity you could have students do is put themselves in Sacagawea’s place and write a letter home while on the journey. Maybe they also need to include a map or drawing of some sort. This activity not only serves as a knowledge and understanding check but also supports SEL (Social Emotional Learning) through the exercise of empathy.
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