Curriculum Expressions

(These are the curriculum expressions that are the backbone for Carmelita Lamb’s curriculum unit, Tribal Legacies of Pathfinding.)

This curriculum design is based upon a model posed by Inglebret and Pavel (2013), the PlaceBased, Multiliteracies Learning Spiral (Appendix A). This framework approaches learning from a holistic perspective which is centered on the elements of a particular place. Using this model teachers and students work together to design learning environments that value multiple ways of knowing and diverse forms of literacy. Vine Deloria Jr. (1991) effectively defines ‘place’ as a dynamic entity that involves interactions and relationships which include the natural environment, peoples, and the built environment, as viewed through time. The story of the Corps of Discovery can only be described fully within this learning framework as it is a true reflection of the Indigenous worldview by way of the incorporation of auditory, linguistic, gestural, sensory (smell/taste), spatial (location, time, orientation of the body) spiritual, tactile and visual interpretation of an experience.



Indigenous peoples had been living along the exploration trail for thousands of years prior to the Lewis and Clark Exploration. These Native people had developed sophisticated survival techniques that were place-based and in harmony with the cycles of nature. The teachings of this knowledge were passed down from the tribes along the Trail to the exploration team and ultimately contributed to the successful completion of the journey.



  • How did early civilizations navigate the continents and oceans?
  • How were traditional maps (land based points of reference) incorporated into the cartography of the final map of the expedition that was submitted in 1814 to President Jefferson?
  • How did the Native peoples along the trail affect the final map product?
  • What geologic/ecologic changes have occurred along the trail since 1862?
  • What are the Native understandings and representations of these changes?
  • What essential survival techniques were shared between the tribes and the expedition team members and what stories (written or oral) were created from this sharing?



Common Core State Standards within Language Arts domains which support this Unit




Teaching 1

  • How were maps made in the early 1800’s?
  • How is current map making different, and similar?
  • What were unique features of the maps given to Lewis and Clark by the tribes along the Trail?
  • What were the tools used in guiding people on travels in the 1800’s?
  • What about before this time?


Geologic formations along the Trail

Teaching 2

  • What are the greatest geologic challenges that were encountered on the trail?
  • How did the exploration team negotiate these natural obstacles?
  • What did they learn from the Indian people who were with them?
  • Using external research documents, develop a timeline of the expedition including the engagement of each tribal nation along the way.
  • Depict the major geologic formations in a 3 dimensional way on your timeline. Include the original names for these places as well as the modern recognized names.



Teaching 3

  • What was the significance of making records of the plant life along the Trail?
  • What were the contributions made by the Native peoples to these records?
  • Compile a digital collection of the flora described in the Corps of Discovery journals. Label these samples with the original Native name and current scientific taxonomy, and affix them to your timeline in the appropriate tribal homelands.


Human adaptive physiology

Teaching 4

  • What were the items necessary for the expedition party to survive?
  • How effective were they in their planning?
  • Depict key items used by the expedition to meet the physiologic needs of the explorers on the timeline.
  • What did the Native people know that the explorers didn’t with regard to maintaining physical health in the northern climate, and how did they share their knowledge?
  • How were the traditional knowledges of the Native people along the Trail important to the survival of the Corps of Discovery participants?



  1. Data collection, interpretation and reporting are incorporated into a final digital piece using a presentation application of choice (EdCanvas, Prezi, Symbaloo) which utilizes student research based upon primary documents (journal entries, archived letters, literary accounts nonfiction and Webbased scientifically acclaimed research ex. National Geographic,
  2. Students (working as cooperative groups) will submit a final 3 dimensional project that reflects their understanding of the Lewis and Clark expedition based upon the study of cartography, geology, ethnobotany, and human adaptive physiology. The rubric for this project is located in Appendix C,
  3. Students will create their own journal of how they have interpreted each key component of the Honoring Tribal Legacies curriculum (cartography, geology, ethonbotany, and human adaptive physiology). This journal may be either digital or analog and may incorporate songs, art, mixed media, prose, interview, and film.