Great Falls, Great Beauty, Great Difficulty: The Lewis and Clark Expedition and Diligence45 min
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.
- What challenges are you facing?
- What fears or concerns might you have?
- What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?
- What were Lewis’s and Clark’s identities during this part of their voyage?
- What were Lewis’s and Clark’s purposes during the journey?
Discuss the following questions with your students.
- What is the historical context of the narrative?
- What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
- How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
- How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society?
- How might exercise of the virtue benefit the protagonist?
- What might the exercise of the virtue cost the protagonist?
- Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
- How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?
- Read a narrative about the Lewis and Clark expedition at the point at which they arrive at the Great Falls of the Missouri River and subsequently portage around them.
- Identify the steps Lewis and Clark took to overcome this difficulty.
- Discuss the specific ways that Lewis and Clark’s actions in planning and implementing the unexpected portage demonstrated diligence.
- Analyze the influence of Lewis and Clark’s diligence on the other members of the expedition, and subsequently on the United States during this stage of its development as a nation.
- Have students compare themselves and their individual circumstances to Lewis and Clark and the members of their expeditionary team.