American West Unit: Geography and the Louisiana Purchase

Our next topic was the Louisiana Purchase. Prior to 1803, the United States territory went only as far as the Mississippi River. Napoleon Bonaparte, the ruler of France, needed money for his wars in Europe and sold the Louisiana Territory to the U.S. for $15 million (3 cents an acre!).  This nearly doubled the size of the United States.

We’ve been using a map that shows the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark’s expedition route to learn move about American geography. In addition to learning the Fifty States song we’ve been learning the five Great Lakes (the Great Lakes have their H*O*M*E*S* in Canada and the United States… Lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior), a few of the major rivers, and the mountain ranges.

We have been using a pin map to help us learn some of these locations.

While we’ve used pin maps for a long time, I saw this wonderful idea of using a cork board and taping the map on top over at We Don’t Need No Education. It was quick and easy to set this activity up!

If you want to make your own pin map work to go along with your studies of the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark you can download the labels I made here. I used the National Geographic map of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Our Move: On another note, next week, the week of Valentine’s Day, our blog will be joining the Parent‘s team over at  I’ll have a link from this address to get you there.  I hope you’ll check in on us there!  We’ve done some great experiments and will be sharing more about our geography, history and preschool activities in the next couple of weeks.

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