By NATALIE SCOTT
Students in Dana Elias’ and Chrissy Palmer’s classes received a visit from Sacagawea (Jaclyn Elias), the daughter of the Shoshone chief, April 5 with letters from the Lewis and Clark expedition through the western portion of the country to find a path to the Pacific Ocean.
The letters were written by Jaclyn Elias’ social studies students at Austintown Middle School and discussed different aspects of the expedition through one of the explorers or family member’s eyes. The Elias sisters have been working together with this lesson plan since the beginning of the school year and the themes of the letters change depending on the lessons the students are studying at the time.
During the special lesson, Jaclyn dressed as the famous translator and answered students’ questions as if she were actually Sacagawea. She discussed the plants and animals seen on the expedition, as well as her marriage to French-Canadian trapper, Toussaint Charbonneau, and her child, Jean Baptiste. She also told the students about her capture as a young girl by the Hidatsa, a rival tribe, and being finally reunited with her bother, Shoshone chief Cameahwait, as an adult.
The Watson students will continue to receive letters from AMS students for the remainder of the school year. These letters allow them to not only experience history first-hand, but also practice reading and writing skills when they write letters in return.