Girl of the Shining Mountains: Sacagawea’s Story (Hardcover) by Peter and Connie Roop; Hyperion, 1999. ISBN: 0786804920. pp: 178.
Ages: 8-12, gr: 4-6
Sacagawea: Girl of the Shining Mountains (Paperback)
Hyperion. 2003. ISBN: 0786813237. pp: 192.

U.S. Mint image


Sacagawea was born to the Shoshone Indians, in the Bitterroot Mountains of east central Idaho. By the time she was ten or eleven years old, her mother had taught her all she knew about how to find food and how to prepare it. Around that same time, her people were attacked by a group of Hidatsa Indians. Her parents and sister were killed, and she was captured as a slave.

Life was different living with the Hidatsa Indians. They planted seeds, and so had food to eat during the long, cold winters. They also lived in permanent houses. Sacagawea worked hard, but she was used to that.

After several years of living with the Hidatsa, Sacagawea was sold to a Frenchman named Charbonneau. She was pregnant with Pomp when she first met Lewis and Clark. Because Lewis and Clark needed horses from the Shoshone Indians in order to reach the Pacific Ocean, they needed Sacagawea to travel with them as a guide and as an interpreter. Thus it was that Sacagawea got to see her people once again.

After learning that her brother was the only one who survived the attack of the Hidatsa, Sacagawea realized that the men of the Corps of Discovery were really her family. And so she traveled with them all the way to the Pacific Ocean, and all the way back to Fort Mandan.


  1. Write a poem about any aspect of Sacagawea’s life. Collect the poems and put them in a class booklet.

  2. No one knows for sure what happened to Sacagawea after 1812. Tribal historians believe she lived to be almost 100 years old. Non-tribal historians believe she died at the age of 25. Read accounts from both sides. Based on what you have read, what do you think? Support your response with quotes from historians from both sides.

  3. Read about the reunion of Sacagawea and her brother, Cameahwait. Write a skit about this event. Perform the skit for other grades in your school.

  4. Sacagawea has been honored and memorialized with statues, a river, mountains, lakes, a park, schools, an airplane, and now a coin. If you were to create a memorial for Sacagawea, what would you do? Draw a picture and describe your memorial with text.

  5. Chart Sacagawea’s and the Corps of Discovery’s journey on a map from Fort Mandan to the Pacific Ocean and back. How many miles did they travel? How long did it take them? How long would it take to drive that far today?

  6. Of all the places Sacagawea traveled, which would you most like to see? Why?

  7. Read about the authors. What other book written by the Roops sounds most interesting to you? Why?

  8. Peter and Connie Roop’s story is told from the point of view of Sacagawea. Read a Lewis and Clark story that is told from another point of view. Examples are:
    • The Great Expedition of Lewis and Clark: By Private Reubin Field, Member of The Corps of Discovery. (Gr. 2-5) author Judith Edwards, illustrator Sally Wern Comport. (Farrar, 2003)
    • Clark and Me: A Dog’s Tale. author Laurie Myers (Henry Holt, 2002)
    • York’s Adventures with Lewis and Clark. author Rhoda Blumberg (HarperCollins, 2004)

  9. Think about what the story would be like from the point of view of Pomp.
    • Write a letter as though you are Pomp telling his story (as a baby - he was 18 months old when his parents parted from Lewis and Clark).
    • Read more about Pomp’s later life online or in this book.
      Sacagawea’s Son: The Life of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau by Marion Tinling. Mountain Press Publishing, 2001. 132 pages ISBN: 0878424326. grades 5-8.
  10. Play the melody of this Chippewa Lullaby. Compose an English lyric that Sacagawea could sing to Pomp.

  11. Explore some of the links in the awesomestories biography, Sacajawea. How do these help you understand more about the role of Sacagawea in history?

  12. Read another book about a Native American young person. Compare the similarities and differences between the life of the Native American character in this story with the life of Sacagawea.

  13. Look at a student-authored biography of Sacagawea:
    By Nikki (age 8) and Richard (age 9)
    Write your own biography of Sacagawea including these elements:
    • title
    • author credit
    • an illustration
    • paragraphed biography
    • sources (where we got our information)
    • links to sites to learn more about Sacagawea

Online information about Sacagawea

More sites with teaching ideas related to the Roop’s Sacagawea

Girl of the Shining Mountains: Sacagawea’s Story.
Accelerated Reader: Quiz #43258 EN; Book Level 5.5; Points= 6.0

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