Lesson Plan

TEACHING WITH PRIMARY SOURCES—MTSU, Lesson Plan: The Trail of Tears

Cover image of lesson plan showing Cherokee Chief Major Ridge

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Grade Level:
Middle School: Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade
Subject:
Social Studies
Lesson Duration:
90 Minutes
Common Core Standards:
6-8.RH.1, 6-8.RH.2, 11-12.RH.1, 11-12.RH.2
State Standards:
Review your state standards.
Additional Standards:
Review your district standards.

Objective

Overview: This two day guided lesson is packed with resources - videos, images, primary source documents and a powerpoint presentation - all readily available. This lesson also provides students with role playing activity sheets, and gives them the opportunity to have agency over the learning.

Background

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the Trail of Tears are two of the darkest moments in our nation’s history. As the United States grew in population and size so too did the vision of what all the nation should be and what lands it should encompass. Unfortunately for American Indians like the Cherokee, they were not a part of this national vision. They were forced from their homes by dubious treaties to occupy lands west of the Mississippi River. The journey was difficult, supplies were scarce, and many died of disease or exposure on their westward trip. Due to the difficulty of the journey and the loss of life it became known as the Trail of Tears. American Indian land and homes left behind were immediately auctioned off and occupied by white settlers. Even that land would not be enough to satisfy the growing United States, and by 1907 many of the lands promised American Indians were back in government hands.

Lesson plan:  http://library.mtsu.edu/tps/lessonplans&ideas/Lesson_Plan--Trail_of_Tears.pdf

Preparation

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Materials

Lesson Hook/Preview

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Procedure

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Vocabulary

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Contact Information

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Last updated: July 12, 2017