Button that says Epic Journey and takes you to the main page of the Lewis and Clark web site.
Button that says Scenario and takes you to the Scenario page.
Button that says Videos and takes you to the Videos page.
Button that says The Corps and takes you to The Corps page.
Button that says Activities and takes you to the Activities page.
Button that says Science and takes you to the Science page.
Button that says Geography and takes you to the Geography page.
Button that says History and takes you to the History page.
Button that says Arts and takes you to the Arts page.
Button that says Links and takes you to the Links page.
Button that says New Frontiers and takes you to the New Frontiers page.

Button that says Teacher Resources and takes you to the Teacher Resources page.

  Image that says Activities: Science.

Many members of the Corps of Discovery learned to be scientists on the expedition. For instance, they were biologists noting new species of plants and animals. And they were astronomers using the stars to guide their path.

In the following activity you are a botanist. You must explore the area and identify plants the way the Corps did.


Discovering New Plants with Meriwether Lewis


  • Botany activity worksheets and pencils
  • Pressed and dried plant specimens
  • Blotter paper and wooden press frames
  • Access to collectible plants
  • Plant identification guide for local plant species
  • Resources on folklore stories and medicinal uses of plants

Image of a plant.
You'll describe the features of a pressed plant.

Print out the botany worksheet. Use scientific vocabulary to write a description of a pressed plant based on the following:

  • Arrangement of the leaves-alternate, opposite, or whorled along the stem.
  • Shape of the leaves-entire or compound; lobed (pinnately or palmately), toothed, dissected, heart-shaped, ovate, lanceolate, or linear.
  • Arrangement of the flowers-single, umbel, spike, sessile, cyme, or head.
  • Shape of the flowers-regular, irregular, or composite.
  • Color of the flowers.
  • Number of petals and stamens.

Pretend you discovered this "new" plant. Think of a name and share it with the group. Write a folktale about your plant. Share it with the class.

Use a dichotomous key to look up the actual name of the plant. How close was your name to the one that botanists gave the plant?

Search | Contact Us

Privacy Statement and Copyright 2002-2003 by Wheeling Jesuit University/Center for Educational Technologies. All rights reserved.

Center for Educational Technologies, Circuit Board/Apple graphic logo, and COTF Classroom of the Future logo are registered trademarks of Wheeling Jesuit University.

The contents of this web site were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

Image of the WV Humanities Council logo.This project is being presented by the Center for Educational Technologies with financial assistance from The West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.