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Globe Skills Lesson 6
The Louisiana Purchase
- Grade 6+

Skills used Latitude & Longitude
Using scale to measure distance
Using directions
Critical thinking
Locating landforms
Drawing logical conclusions
Tracing routes on a map
Solving problems
Materials Needed Globe in Horizon Ring Mounting
Lesson

Find a map in your textbook or another resource that shows the area included in the Louisiana Purchase. Now look at the same area on your globe. Make a list of some of the present day states that now occupy lands acquired in the Louisiana Purchase. (1.) ______________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________

To explore the new Louisiana territory President Jefferson chose Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to lead an expedition west to the Pacific Ocean. To follow their expedition on your globe, start by placing a small "X" at the junction of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The location is 39N/90W. From there, draw a line that follows the Missouri River to its beginning in western Montana (MT on your globe). From that location, extend your line west over land for about 250 miles until you come to the Snake River. Follow the Snake River until it joins the Columbia River and then follow the Columbia until you reach the Pacific Ocean near Portland, Oregon.

What was the land elevation around the river junction where Lewis and Clark began their journey on May 14, 1804? (2.) ___________________________________ What is the land elevation at the headwaters (the beginning) of the Missouri River? (3.) _______________________________ Remember, the explorers traveled by boat whenever possible. Why would the difference in land elevations at the beginning of the river and at end of the river make the outbound part of the expedition more difficult? (4.) ______________________________________________________ _________________________________

On October 20th the expedition reached the Mandan Indian villages at a place in North Dakota near 47N/101W. (This would be at the bottom of the "R" in the word America.) Place a small "X" at this point. What is the straight-line distance from the starting point of the expedition to this location?
(5.) __________________ Since the river does not follow this straight line, this distance, by way of boat, was closer to 1000 miles. If it took the expedition 160 days to travel 1000 miles, how many miles did they average per day? (6.) ____________________________

What is the name given to the plains through which the explorers passed in North Dakota, South Dakota, and eastern Montana? Study your globe carefully for the answer. (7.) ______________ ________________ In what part of the journey did the travelers encounter the highest land elevation?
(8.) ______________________________________

On your globe, find the location where the Columbia River crosses the 120W longitude line. Notice how the river is squeezed between high mountains on both sides. This area is a place where the river has cut a narrow gorge through a range of mountains called the Cascades. Not only is the river forced into a narrow passage here, but the elevation of the riverbed drops abruptly. What kind of conditions might Lewis and Clark have experienced while rafting through this section of the Columbia?
(9.) ___________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________

 

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