SACAJAWEA SPEAKS STUDY GUIDE
Prepared by Cathy Kaemmerlen
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SACAJAWEA SPEAKS celebrates the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition and celebrates the contributions that Sacajawea made to the Corps of Discovery’s expedition that opened up the Northwest Passage. Through costume, props, visual aids, the audience will use their imaginations to aid them through this 18 month dangerous expedition that covered 11 states and thousands of miles by land and sea. Sacajawea invites the audience to sit on the “listening blanket” as she tells them stories about the adventurous trip and allegories (teaching lessons) she told to her infant son, Pomp, who accompanied her on the journey. The children will hear about the silver tipped grizzly bear, the Indian way of giving and giving back, the overturned pirogue, the constant search for food and supplies, the trading with Indian tribes for aid and support, the reunion with her native people, and the thrill of reaching their final destination.
Cathy Kaemmerlen, author, actress, historical interpreter, playwright, and storyteller, is known for her variety of characters, one-woman shows, and for bringing history to life. A performer and “creator of shows” since she can remember, she has toured in schools coast to coast, since receiving a BA in English/elementary education from UNC-Charlotte, and a MFA in dance performance/choreography/theatre at the University of Wisconsin. She tours some 20 current shows which she wrote, through the Georgia and South Carolina Touring Arts Rosters, Fulton County Teaching Museums, G.E.T. Programs in the Schools, and through her own production company, Tattlingtales Productions. She is the author of four books and many plays, including one commissioned by the DeKalb Historical Society. Most recently she was commissioned by the Plains Chautauqua Society to write and appear in the one-woman show: The Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail.
Background on Art Form
Telling stories is an oral tradition, dating back to when mankind first developed a language or form of communication. Storytelling is a universal way of passing down information to be saved and remembered for generations to come. It is an interactive art form in which the storytellers’ passion for the story, material, and information, is passed on to the audience, who sorts through, interprets, stores, and synthesizes what is heard.
Teachers, please read this to your students.
Today we are going to have a program by actress storyteller Cathy Kaemmerlen in which she portrays Sacajawea, who was a Shoshone Indian who served as an interpreter and guide to Merriwether Lewis and to William Clark with the Corps of Discovery and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, searching to find a water passage to the Pacific over lands we newly purchased (the Louisiana Purchase.) The time is 1805 when Sacajawea brings her five week old baby named Pomp (also known as Jean Baptiste Charbonneau) with her on a 4000 mile adventure. All along the way she teaches him teaching lessons about the Indian way of life, in particular about the importance of respecting all living things and of respecting our differences. She invites you to share this adventure with her and with Pomp.
Warm Up Questions to set the stage for engaging students:
.Why was the Lewis and Clark Expedition so important to our country’s future?
.Why was Sacajawea so important to the expedition?
.What do you think it would be like to undertake this expedition through uncharted lands and facing unknown dangers?
.What would it take to prepare for such an adventure?
.Why would it be important to document this trip and to make maps of places you travelled to?
.Who were Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Charbonneau, Sacajawea, Pomp?
.Where did the expedition take them? Look at the path on a map.
.What do you think it was like to be the first white men to travel these paths?
Vocabulary to look at before and after:
Sacajawea: Shoshone for boat launcher
Sakakawea: Shoshone for bird woman
Be mem pe: Shoshone for my heart goes out to you
Mo nun ga he: Shoshone for listen
Zant dir ah i: Shoshone for good at work
Shining Mountains: the Indian name for the Rockies
Big Water Where the Sun goes Down: the Indian name for the Pacific Ocean
Ta guin: Shoshone for talk
Tebits: Shoshon for truth
Pirogue: flat bedded canoe that holds ten passengers
Ma ree e ent: Shoshone for frozen in fear
Kootch: Shoshone for buffalo
Ta vai bone e: Indian word for stranger
Ah hi e: Shoshone for I am much pleased or rejoiced
Potas: an edible root similar to a potato also called prairie apples and breadroot
Talking stick: a decorated stick that is given to the one who is to speak next
Warm Up Questions for meeting the Georgia Performance Standards for “Listening/Speaking/Viewing”:
.Describe the perfect audience.
.What are some of our class rules for being good listeners?
.How do we show someone we appreciate their visit to our school or classroom?
.How does being part of an audience help make you a good citizen?
.What are some examples of bad audience behavior or attitudes?
.How does a negative audience member effect your enjoyment of a show or performance?
.How would this make the performer feel?
H.ow do we want the performer to feel when they leave our school or classroom?
–After the show: talk about the specific contributions Sacajawea made to the expedition.
.What were her greatest strengths? What would have happened if she had not made the journey?
.What was her biggest challenge on the journey?
.How do you think her life changed as a result of the expedition?
. What adjectives would you use to describe her? What symbol would you use to represent her—her name was supposed to mean bird woman or boat launcher. Does either of these symbols represent her well?
–Talk about the various challenges they met on the trip and what resources they drew from in order to survive the constant threat of danger. Discuss hardships your students might have had to face. Answer this question: what is one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to do?
–Discuss what it would be like to have to search for a daily food supply.
–When Sacajawea negotiated with the Shoshones for horses, there was a chain of 5 interpreters needed. Set up your own chain of interpreters (including sign language) to get your message across. Discuss other means of communication used in the show (Lewis’ use of the blanket, red peace paint, the Shoshone national greeting, etc.)
–Make a class map of the expedition using symbols: the place where the silver tipped grizzly bear lives; water with many salmon; the place where horses run wild; Pompey’s Pillar; the river with the wild rapids, etc.
–About the actress, the actress is not a native American Indian. What would she need to do to successfully portray one?
Ken Burns PBS documentary: THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION
TIME/LIFE SERIES: THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION
SACAGAWEA SPEAKS: BEYOND THE SHINING MOUNTAINS WITH LEWIS AND CLARK by Joyce Badgley Hunsaker
SACAJAWEA by Grace Raymond Hebard
SACAJAWEA by Joseph Bruchac
SACAJAWEA: HER SPIRIT SOARED by Lisa Belcher-Hamilton for COBBLESTONE MAGAZINE, January 1989
THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY OF LEWIS AND CLARK by Rhoda Blumberg
From the internet: http:www.teacherlink.usu.edu/TLresources/longterm/Lesson Plans/famous/sacajawe.html.
AN ARTIST WITH THE CORPS OF DISCOVERY by Charles Fritz
SEAMAN by Gail Karwoski
LEWIS AND CLARK FOR KIDS: THEIR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY WITH 21 ACTIVITIES by Janis Herbert
LEWIS AND CLARK ON THE TRAIL OF DISCOVERY: THE JOURNEY THAT SHAPED AMERICA by Rod Gragg
LEWIS AND CLARK TIMELINE:
1803: US obtains Louisiana Purchase from the French for 15 million dollars.
May 14, 1804: Corps of Discovery is formed and in April departs for the Mandan village, up the Missouri River, arriving in November to winter in North Dakota.
Feb. 11, 1805: Sacajawea’s son, Pomp, is born at Ft. Mandan.
April 7, 1805: Corps of Discovery departs on their journey with Charbonneau, Sacajawea and baby Pomp.
June 13, 1805: Corps reaches the Great Falls of the Missouri River.
August 17, 1805: Lewis and Clark meet with the Shoshones and Sacajawea has a reunion with her former People.
November 18, 1805: the Corps reaches the Pacific Ocean.
November 24, 1805: the great vote at Ft. Clatsop where the Corps wintered before beginning their return.
January 8,1806: Sacajawea sees the beached whale and the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
March 23, 1806: the Corps starts for home.
June 29-July 1, 1806: the Corps divides into two camps for the return. Meriwether Lewis goes by way of the Marias River; William Clark goes by way of the Yellowstone River. They are to meet where the rivers join the Missouri River.
July 25, 1806: The naming of Pompey’s Tower in Butte, Montana.
August 17, 1806: the return to the Mandan camp.
September 23, 1806: Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis and the Corps is disbanded.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS:
–LA Purchase in 1803 for $15 million; 1 million square miles @ 2 1/2 cents per acre.
–The trip took 28 months for Lewis and Clark, including the 165 days to get from St. Louis to the Mandans where they picked up Sacajawea.
–George Shannon was the youngest Corps member; Clark at 33 was the oldest. Charbonneau at 44 was the oldest of all; Lewis was 29 and Sacajawea was 16.
–Sacajawea was born around 1789 near Salmon, Idaho and died either in 1812 or on April 9, 1884 depending on whom you talk to.
–Her adopted son, Bazil, died in 1886; Pomp died either in 1885 or 1893; Charbonneau died in 1839 and never saw his children again after turning over guardianship to Clark. He had many more wives.
–Sacajawea had a daughter named Lizette and was reported to leave the abusive Charbonneau shortly after her birth, to return to her native Shoshones.
–Meriwether Lewis died at the age of 35 from a gunshot wound, believed to be a suicide. He suffered from chronic depression.
–William Clark lived to be 64; married his long time sweetheart; had many children and a second wife after his first wife died; he educated both Pomp and Lizette.
–Billings, MT where Pompey’s Pillar is, is the only known visible leaving of the Lewis and Clark expedition (Clark carved in his name in the rock.)
–Clark’s brother was Capt. George Rogers Clark, Revolutionary War hero; he was the first choice of Thomas Jefferson and Meriwether Lewis to go on the expedition, but recommended his younger brother, William go in his place.
–The cost of the expedition was closer to $38,000, but the government had allotted only $2500.
QCC’s: Grades 3 and 4 Language Arts: 45; Grade 5 Language Arts: 51; Grade 4 Social Studies: 26; Grades 3-5 Character Education: 7, 9, 11 (11.1, 2, 3); 12 (12.1, 2, 3, 4, 5): 13 (13.1, 2, 3, 4)