National Teacher Enhancement Project

Lewis and Clark in Washington
Shrub Steppe Habitat

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In this project students will investigate the shrub steppe habitat of Eastern Washington. Students will compare their data to Lewis and Clark's journal entries of this area.

Grade Level:

Second, fourth and fifth grades at three schools will participate.


The students at two schools will research the natural areas adjacent to their schools collecting data on flora and fauna. The third school will study Lewis and Clark journal entries for comparison with the present day data.

Learner Description/Environment:

Canyon View Elementary: There are 27 students--50% male and 50% female--and two teachers participating in the project. The reading levels of these students vary from second to sixth grade, and 44% of the students represent eathnic minorities with a mix of socioeconomic backgrounds.

Southgate Elementary: A second grade class of 26 students--50% male and 50% female--and one teacher is participating in this project. The reading levels of these students vary from preprimer to fourth grade.

Amistad Elementary: A class of 24 fourth graders and 22 fifth graders of the gifted program is participating in this project. The school is located in a low economic urban area, but the gifted program pulls the top 5% from throughout the district.

Time Frame:

Minimum of 4-6 weeks, seasonal for plant collections.


A very limited source of arid land shrub steppe information is available for children. We want to link this project to the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration for the years 2004-2006.

Learner Outcomes: Students will know and be able to:

Structure of the Learning:

Content: Integration of content areas--reading writing, communication, math, social studies, science, art and technology.

Process: Students will research local shrub steppe habitats near schools. They will use technology to share the results of their research. Research activities will include gathering information from the Internet and other resources, making field trips and field studies to take samples and QuickTake pictures and record information in journals and sharing results electronically and in presentations. The students will use technology resources--digital cameras, video cameras, scanners, e-mail, and PageMill. Students will access Lewis and Clark Websites, Pacific Northwest National Lab Partnership for Arid Lands Stewardship (PNNL PALS) Website, and other sources.



The students will be evaluated daily on participation and assigned tasks. The students will complete self-evaluation using student/teacher rubrics, informal discussions, K-W-L (current knowledge, what you want to know and what you have learned) charts as a pre- and post-assessment tool and group or individual presentations.

Author(s): Gail Wintczak, Amistad Elementary School; Sue Hevland and Nancy Sauer, Canyon View Elementary School; and Vicki Mitchell, Southgate Elementary School, Kennewick, WA
Created for the NTEP II Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.
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Created: November 12, 1998 - Updated: October 14, 1999