The Best Laid Plans
My son is enjoying the Lewis & Clark activities so far, but the writing…not so much. When pressured to write a journal entry about last week’s activity he did the bare minimum and of course, put his own spin on it. Last week’s journal entry reads:
The buffalo are big. They ate buffalo for dinner. I hate buffalo tacos.
Yep. Just what I envisioned when putting together this project to prevent summer slide. sigh.
And of course when I told P this week he could choose discovering new animals or learning about animal tracks he was excited…until I told him I was taking him to Barkhausen to look for actual animal tracks.
“But Mooo-oooom, it’s too hot!“
This is the kid I can’t get to stop moving, the kid I can’t keep inside on the hottest of days and he doesn’t want to get out into the woods to hunt down animal tracks? It’s like Murphy’s Law of Parenting: Kids only enjoy something until you want them to do it. Another big sigh.
Then the weekend got away from us and we didn’t do any Lewis & Clark activities. So we’ll be catching up this holiday weekend.
Finding a route to the Pacific Ocean wasn’t Lewis & Clark’s only mission. The Corps of Discovery was also directed to document animals and plants. This week our expedition is moving into Nebraska where Lewis and Clark found many animals. Nebraska was where they first saw a prairie dog.
Have your kids read about the animals (and their tracks) that were new to Lewis & Clark either online or in a book.
- Lewis & Clark for Kids by Janis Herbert has a great chapter on tracking animals.
- Read some of Lewis and Clark’s journal entries about “new” animals on Mr. Nussbaum’s website and on the Dakota Zoo’s website.
- Read some of their journal entries that talk about animal tracks from the Smithsonian.
- For a great set of Lewis and Clark activities visit the Lewis and Clark website’s to print their Kids in the Park with Lewis & Clark activity booklet.
Expedition Exploration & Writing
- Visit a local zoo, sanctuary or natural area to observe some of the birds and mammals Lewis and Clark would have encountered. Write in your Lewis and Clark journal about what you saw. What animals did you see? How many? Describe them. What sounds did they make? Describe how they looked.
- Hunt for animal tracks on a beach, trail or local natural area. Write in your Lewis & Clark journal about what tracks you found (or didn’t). Draw some of the tracks you discovered. Were you able to identify what animal made the tracks?
For more animal and track activity ideas check out my Lewis & Clark Summer Expedition Pinterest board.
See you on the trail!