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Daily Lesson Plan

grade American History

Day 2: Native Americans and the Trail of Tears

Objectives: TSW identify places on the map of the Trail of Tears (DOK 1). TSW
investigate the Indian Removal Act and Jacksons speech to Congress (primary source)
(DOK 3). TSW create a letter to President Andrew Jackson explaining why they should
be able to stay on their land (DOK 4).


Handout of Andrew Jacksons speech to Congress (primary source)
Handout of Cherokees assimilation into the American society (primary
Maps (on Prezi)

Opening (Set): Bellringer on board: What role did each of the following play in the
struggle over the Bank of the United States? (a) Nicholas Biddle (b) Henry Clay (c)
Andrew Jackson.

Yesterday we discussed Andrew Jackson and the events that took place during his
presidency. If someone came up to your house and told you and your family to just leave
your house, possibly without any belongings- how would you feel? One thing we have
yet to go over is his (President Andrew Jackson) role in removing Indians from the
Southeast. Today, we are going to discuss what Andrew Jackson did and how this
effected the Native Americans for years to come.

Learning Tasks (Procedures):
Begin discussion over the Indians.

I. Tragedy for Native Americans (Twelfth and Thirteenth Slide on Prezi)
Jackson took a firm stand on another key issue, Native Americans fate. White
settlers had persistently moved Native Americans off their land. Indian leaders
like Pontiac and Tecumseh had failed to stop the invasion of white settlers from
ravaging their lands.

The Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Seminole lived in the Southeast.
Their fertile land was attractive to white settlers (ideal for growing cotton). At
Jacksons urging, the government set aside lands beyond the MS River and then
persuaded or forced Indians to move there. Jackson believed that this policy
would provide land for white settlers as well as protect NAs from destruction.
Few Indians wanted to move and they felt that it was THEIR LAND!

Cherokee Indians went through a lot to change their lifestyle to match that of the
white settlers. They created a legal system and government that blended European
and Cherokee traditions. Others, like the Choctaw, believe they would be spared
the move because they had sided with the United States during the War of 1812.

In 1821, Sequoyah created a written alphabet for his people. Using Sequoyahs
letters, Cherokee children learned to read and write. The Cherokees also
published a newspaper. Georgia claimed the right to make laws for the Cherokee
nation in 1828. The Cherokees went to court pointing to treaties with the federal
government that protected their rights and property. The Cherokee case reached
the Supreme Court. In the 1832 case of Worcester v. Georgia, Chief Justice John
Marshall declared Georgias action unconstitutional and stated that NAs were
protected by the U.S. constitution. However, President Jackson refused to enforce
the Courts decision. Jackson contradicted himself, in the nullification crisis,
Jackson defended the power of federal government and with the Cherokee Indians
he backed states rights.

Jackson supporters in Congress pushed through the Indian Removal Act in 1830.
It forced Native Americas to move west of the Mississippi. Whites did not
mind turning land over to Indians that they thought was a vast desert. In 1838, the
United States Army drove more than 15,000 Cherokees westward. The Cherokees
trekked hundreds of miles over a period of several months. Thousands died during
the march west. This journey was known as the Trail of Tears.

Seminole Indians lived in Florida; they resisted removal. Led by Chief Osceola,
they began fighting the United States Army in 1817. This conflict, known as the
first Seminole War, ended in 1818. The second Seminole War lasted from 1835
to 1842. It was the costliest war waged by the government to gain Indian lands. A
third war ending in 1858, the Seminoles were defeated. The government forced
them to leave Florida.

Further North, NAs were also facing pressure from expanding white settlements.
As the white population expanded, groups of Sauk and Fox Indians were forced
from their homes in Illinois, under a leader named Black Hawk. Tensions rose
between the Indians and settlers. A confrontation occurred and two panicky
settlers killed two Indians who had come to discuss peace. The Native Americans
then defeated a band of settlers and retreated into what is today Wisconsin.

II. Direct students to the maps on the prezi. Have them answer the questions together in
the group. Pick a few groups to give their answers.

III. Show video on Prezi about the Trail of Tears.

IV. Have the students look over Jacksons speech to Congress about the Indian Removal

V. Explain to the students that they our to create a letter to President Andrew Jackson
explaining why you (a Native American) should be allowed to stay on your land. Use
evidence from lesson. They may work in groups on their letters but they are to show
originality (their own thoughts). They are to work on this if there is enough class time,
however, they will be given an opportunity to finish them the next day in class.

Closure: Today, we talked about the Trail of Tears and the hardships that Native
Americans had to endure. As we talked about earlier, could you imagine being stripped
away from your home? No. Many families lost mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and
grandparents. Do you feel what Andrew Jackson did was the right thing? Tomorrow we
can present our letters and discuss our opinions on this.

Differentiate Instruction:
Enrichment: Have students research further on the Trail of Tears and the Indian
Removal Act; have them write the position favoring Andrew Jacksons decision.
This will give them a different perspective on the lesson.
Intervention: Give students an option between the letter and drawing an
illustration depicting the Trail of Tears.
Accommodation: Audio Support.