Aspire students recreate Lewis and Clark expedition

June 9, 2023

Student perform Lewis and Clark's expedition
Fourth grader Reggie

Fourth grader Reggie, who portrayed York

Capt. Meriwether Lewis and Lt. William Clark spent two years traveling to the Pacific Ocean and back to Missouri as part of President Thomas Jefferson’s plan to explore the American west after the Louisiana Purchase. More than 200 years later, third and fourth graders at Captain Strong Primary transformed the story of that famed expedition into an entertaining performance for families and friends.

Students in Katie Prill and Susan Crill’s Aspire classes for highly capable learners spent several months transforming a play created by previous classes and making it their own. They conducted extensive research. “We looked on Wikipedia, we looked up Lewis and Clark in the journals and we did a lot,” said Reggie, a fourth grader.

Also central to the process was each student’s portrayal of a real-life figure. The cast included Thomas Jefferson, Lewis, Clark, York, Sacagawea and Charbonneau, to name just a few.

For Reggie, portraying York was an informative experience. York was the strongest member of the expedition and the only person who could swim, skills that enhanced the Corps of Discovery’s hunting and fishing abilities. Getting to play this critical role (his top choice) was one of the highlights, Reggie said.

For these third and fourth graders, getting an opportunity to interpret history is a lesson that will last a lifetime.


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