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Lewis and Clark
(1804-1806)

Lewis and Clark - The journey



Lewis and Clark - The journey
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.58

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    appendicitis, heading, sergeant, successful, journey, boring, traveled, rocks, below, early, against, fort, tribe, meeting, stayed, buffalo
     content words:    President Thomas Jefferson, United States, Missouri River, Native Americans, Sergeant Charles Floyd, Native American, Rocky Mountains, Great Falls, Columbia River, Pacific Ocean


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Lewis and Clark - The journey
By Cathy Pearl
  

1     Lewis and Clark traveled on an amazing journey in the early 1800s. They went to lands not many people had seen. Less than fifty men traveled with them. President Thomas Jefferson hoped that the men could find a river that would go to the Pacific. The United States could use this river. They would send goods on it quickly across the country.
 
2     The journey started in May of 1804. The men left and started up the Missouri River. The travel was hard. Many times the boats had to be pulled up the river. The men had a good day if they went fourteen miles.
 
3     Lewis and Clark continued to go up the Missouri for many months. It was very slow. The current in the Missouri River was very strong. It was hard for the men to row against it.
 
4     The men soon traveled across the plains. They saw many animals they had never seen before. One of these was the buffalo. The explorers described fields filled with thousands of buffalo. It was amazing to see. By the end of July, the men had traveled more than 600 miles. No men had died yet. The journey was going well.
 
5     Soon, the group had met their first tribe of Native Americans. The meeting went well and the explorers were pleased. They were also nervous. They knew that all of the meetings would have to go well so the trip would be successful.
 
6     The group lost their first and only man that first August. Sergeant Charles Floyd died. Many historians think it was from appendicitis. He is the only member of the group that would die. There is a hill and a river named after him.
 
7     Lewis and Clark wanted to get as far as they could before the river froze. They traveled as fast as they could. Four days after it snowed the first time, they reached a Native American tribe called the Mandan. Lewis and Clark wanted to spend the winter there. They quickly worked to build a fort that would protect them during the winter. Sometimes the temperature would drop below zero.
 
8     During the winter, they hired a guide and his Native American wife to help guide them on the journey. As soon as the ice broke up on the Missouri, they left their fort and began to travel again. Not all of the men left with them. Some traveled back down the Missouri. They had many examples of what they had seen and reports that Lewis and Clark had written. They had to take these to the president.
 
9     Lewis and Clark were finally heading west. Before, the river had gone more to the north than west. Soon, they saw the Rocky Mountains for the first time. They were excited but worried, too. How would they ever get across them? They wanted to hurry, but the river was very hard to travel on here. It was shallow with many rocks.

Paragraphs 10 to 16:
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