CCSS: 6.RP.A.2, 6.RP.A.3.B, MP1, MP5, MP7

TEKS: 6.4B, 7.4B

On The Trail With Sacagawea

YOUR MISSION:  As you read, use rates to learn about Sacagawea (sa-kuh-juh-WEE-uh) and her role as translator and guide on the 1804 Lewis and Clark Expedition.


Born around 1790, Sacagawea was likely the daughter of a leader of the Shoshone tribe. When she was about 12, the Hidatsa (heh-DOT-suh) tribe kidnapped her and took her to their village. About five years later, they sold her to Toussant Charbonneau, a French Canadian fur trader, and the two were married. Use the online answer sheet to record your answers. 

A. The U.S. government paid France $15,000,000 for the Louisiana Purchase, which was 828,000 square miles. How many dollars did the U.S. pay per square mile, rounded to the nearest cent?

B. France once used a currency called the franc. Back in 1803, 1 franc was equal to about $5.33. What was the cost per square mile of the Louisiana Purchase in francs?

C. In today’s dollars, the Louisiana Purchase would cost about $323,000,000. What is the cost of the Louisiana Purchase per square mile in today’s dollars, rounded to the nearest cent?

A. The expedition traveled 2,500 miles along the Missouri River, both via canoe and by walking along the shore. The slowest they went was 5 miles per day. At this rate, how long would it take to travel that distance?

B. The fastest they traveled was 20 miles per day. How many days would it take to travel the distance at this rate?

The expedition brought food to feed the 45 people in the group. But they also hunted. During a stretch of good hunting, each person ate 9 pounds of meat per day. They ate 20,250 pounds of meat in total during this time. For how many days did they have good hunting?

It took 343 days for the group to reach Fort Clatsop after departing from Camp Dubois in modern-day Illinois. Clark estimated that they traveled 4,162 miles. Based on Clark’s estimate, what was the average distance traveled per day, rounded to the nearest tenth?

Today, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail honors the trip. The trail is 4,900 miles long. A hiker travels at a rate of 3 miles per hour. How many days, hiking 6 hours per day, would it take them travel the trail, rounded to the nearest tenth?

A. The return trip from Fort Clatsop to Camp Dubois took 184 days. If they traveled 14 miles per day, how many miles did the expedition cover?

B. Based on what you read in the story and the previous questions, does this return distance the group traveled seem reasonable? Why or why not?

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