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Exploring the West

Grade Level Grades K-2
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards


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This Grade 1 Core Knowledge History and Geography unit focuses on the determination of some famous Americans to explore the West when our country was young. Students discover that as a boy, Daniel Boone learned about living in the forests from the Lenape Native Americans. This knowledge later helped him lead a group of men to clear the Wilderness Road, allowing settlers to travel through the Appalachian Mountains into Kentucky. They then learn about the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson’s successful effort to buy a vast territory from French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Students meet Meriwether Lewis, army leader and outdoorsman, and William Clark, an explorer who was also an artist, who Jefferson chose to journey through this vast territory all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Students travel with Lewis and Clark and the group of explorers they led, the Corps of Discovery, and discover the indispensable help the Corps had from Native Americans along the way. Finally, students take a closer look at Sacagawea, the brave and resourceful Shoshone woman without whom Lewis and Clark would not have made it to the Pacific


Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
With guidance and support from adults, demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.


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