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Sacagawea was born sometime around 1790. She is best known for her role in assisting the Lewis and Clark expedition. She and her husband were guides from the Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean and back.
Kidnapped and Sold Into Marriage
Sacagawea was kidnapped from her Shoshone village by Hidatsa Indians when she was twelve years old. She was promptly sold into slavery. She was then sold to a French fur trapper by the name of Toussaint Charbonneau. The pair became married and had a son named Jean-Baptiste.
On the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Although there are conflicting opinions concerning how important Sacagawea was to the Lewis and Clark expedition, she did serve as the interpreter and negotiator to the Shoshone tribe - that was led by her brother Cameahwait. She helped them obtain essential supplies and horses while she carried her infant son on her back. Furthermore, Sacagawea helped identify edible plants and herbs and prevented hostile relations with other tribes simply by being with the expedition. She was even more important on the return trip because she was familiar with the areas in which the expedition was traveling. Lewis and Clark received credit for discovering hundreds of animals and plants that Sacagawea had probably seen for years. Although she received no payment for her help, her husband was rewarded with cash and land.
Death and Adoption of her Children
Six years after the journey, Sacagawea died after giving birth to her daughter Lisette. William Clark adopted both of her children, but there are no records of Lisette. To this day, there are no reliable pictures or drawings of Sacagawea. Recently, the United States government engraved her image on the new one dollar coin. Sacagawea is buried in Lander, Wyoming.
Lewis and Clark Interactive - This section provides an interactive map of the Lewis and Clark route to the Pacific. Simply click and learn! Perfect as an introduction to the expedition or for younger kids.
Sacagawea Reading Comprehension - Online - This resource includes a historical passage and ten multiple choice questions. It gives immediate feedback. In addition, when you click the "listen" button, you can hear the passage while it highlights the text.
Lewis and Clark Correct-me Passage - This fun activity requires students to correct a passage about Lewis and Clark that has nine factual errors. Students first must discover the errors, then click on them and select the correct answer from the drop down menu.
Lewis and Clark - The Dynamic Duo - This printable exercise requires students to compare Lewis and Clark to other "dynamic duos" in literature, movies, or even sports.
Lewis and Clark - The Climb - This printout requires students to consider a time when they thought they were at the cusp of finishing something great, only to learn there was MUCH more work to do - ALA Miley Cyrus.
The Lost Journal Pages of Lewis and Clark! - When Thomas Jefferson sent Lewis and Clark to explore the vast Louisiana Territory, he had visions that they'd find exotic creatures such as wholly mammoths and undiscovered landforms such as mountains made of salt. While Lewis and Clark discovered over three hundred species of animals and plants, and even sent a magpie and prairie dog as pets to Thomas Jefferson, they never found the kind of creatures that legends are made of (though they did find massive grizzly bears). What if Lewis and Clark actually did discover an unworldly plant, animal, and landform, but those pages were somehow lost from Lewis’ journal forever when their keelboat capsized? In the spaces provided below, use your imagination to name, draw, and describe these lost discoveries.
A Long-lost Picture of Sacagawea - Did you know that there are no known drawings of depictions of Sacagawea? All of the images you see of her today are simply guesses. This activity shows three different depictions of Sacagawea and challenges students to author their own "authentic" sketch of Sacagawea.
Sacagawea - the Unsung Hero - This activity explains the idea of Sacagawea as an unsung hero. Students must then write about an unsung hero they select from movies, literature, sports, or their own lives.