Seaman's Journal

Last updated Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Author: Patti Reeder Eubank
Illustrator: Patti Reeder Eubank
Date of Publication: 2002
ISBN: 0824954424
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2012

Synopsis: From
This book is about Seaman, the Newfoundland dog belonging to Meriwether Lewis. The story tells of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Pacific Ocean and back to St. Charles, Missouri where the adventure began. Illustrations are in the styles of "The Lewis and Clark Journals" and feature the Native America tribes encountered and the plants and animals discovered.

Note to readers:
•  Find out if the kids know who Lewis and Clark were and if not, set up the story.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you know what a journal or diary is? They might have read the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." Have you ever written one?
•  Do they know what kind of dog Seaman is? Do they have a dog? Do they have a favorite kind of dog and why?
•  Have you ever taken a dog for a walk?
•  Do you know anyone of Native American descent?
•  Have you ever visited the Pacific Ocean or taken a ride on a boat?

•  Keelboat - A large, flat freight boat used on rivers
•  Canoe - A narrow boat with pointed ends, propelled by a paddle or paddles
•  Fossils - The remains or impression of a prehistoric organism preserved in petrified form, or as a mold, or cast in rock
•  Churn - To shake or agitate with violence or continued motion
•  Gear - Equipment
•  Trickle - A small flow of liquid
•  Portage - Carry (a boat) between navigable waters

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  FYI - the Bitterroot mountains are a subrange of the Rocky Mountain in Montana.
•  What's the longest trip you have ever taken, especially on foot?
•  Which Native America tribe do you remember best from the story and why?
•  Have you ever eaten candles? Or wax lips or wax bottles?
•  Have you ever seen any of the animals in the story in a zoo or on TV?

Craft ideas:
•  Make an Adventure Journal. If you had a fort, what would it look like? What kind of animals would you see? What kind of food would you eat?
•  Make paper adventure figures and create different costumes for them to wear.
•  Draw a picture of your favorite scene from the story.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!