Lesson Plan: The Indian Removal Act of 1830

The Indian Removal Act of 1830

Paul Chaat Smith, Associate Curator at the National Museum of the American Indian, talked about the events leading to the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the reasons why it was proposed.

Description

This lesson explores the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and how it affected different Native American groups. Students will learn about the reasons why the U.S. government implemented this policy and look at the experiences of three different groups that were removed from their ancestral homelands. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the impact of the Indian Removal Act by completing one of tasks on a choice board.

Procedures

  • WARM-UP:

    Being class by having them brainstorm what they already know about Native Americans.

  • VOCABULARY INTRODUCTION:

    After discussing the warm-up question, have the students complete the vocabulary activity. If using their personal devices, they should make a copy of the Google Slide and match each term to the appropriate definition. If they are using this as a printed handout, they can draw arrows to the correct match.

    VOCABULARY ACTIVITY: Indian Removal Act Vocabulary Activity (Google Slide)

    Students will match definitions for the following vocabulary terms:

    • Indian Nation

    • Act

    • Treaty

    • Reservation

    • Trail of Tears

    • Eviction
  • INTRODUCTION:

    After reviewing the students’ responses to the brainstorm, address any misconceptions about Native Americans in the early 1800s.

    Use the following video clip and questions to introduce the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Students can access all video clips and activities using the handout.

    HANDOUT: The Indian Removal Act of 1830 (Google Doc)

  • VIDEO CLIP 1: The Indian Removal Act of 1830 (2:43)

    • What is meant by “American democracy was on trial”?

    • What were the “problems” that states faced prior to the Indian Removal Act?

    • What did the Indian Removal Act of 1830 do?

    • Why do you think the U.S. government wanted to remove Indians at this time?
  • EXPLORATION:

    Review the students’ answers to the previous questions. Address any misunderstandings.

    Using the handout, have the students view each video and answer the guiding questions and/or complete the note-taking chart.

  • VIDEO CLIP 2: Tribal Treaties and the Indian Removal Act (5:02)

    • What was the purpose of the Indian Removal Act of 1830?

    • How did different villages react to the Indian Removal Act of 1830?

    • How did the different decisions made by the villages impact how they were treated by the U.S. government?

    • What tactics did the U.S. government use to force removal of the Potawatomi?

    • Where did the Potawatomi people originate?
  • VIDEO CLIP 3: Cherokee People and Indian Removal (2:45)

    • What was Ross’s Landing? Why was its location significant?

    • How was Ross’s Landing significant to the Trail of Tears?

    • Describe the actions by the U.S. government during the removal process.

    • Where did many of the Cherokees originate?

    • Describe the events that occurred at Ross’s landing and Bligh’s Ferry.
  • VIDEO CLIP 4: Indian Removal and the Muscogee Tribe (4:44)

    • Where did the Muscogee people originate?

    • Describe the size and scope of the removal of the Muscogee people.

    • What role did Fort Gibson play during the removal of the Muscogee people?

    • What factors contributed to the large amount of deaths during removal?
  • APPLICATION AND DEMONSTRATION OF LEARNING:

    Students will demonstrate their understanding by completing one of the tasks listed below and included on the choice board. Students can choose which of the tasks they would like to complete.

    • Venn Diagram: Choose two of the Native American groups from the clips and compare and contrast their experiences during Indian removal and how it impacted them.

    • Art Gallery: Develop at least three pieces of art (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc…) that reflect the impact of Indian removal on Native American.

    • Diary Entry: Choose one of the Native American groups mentioned in the clips. Create a diary entry from the perspective of someone from that group that shows how the Indian Removal Act impacted them.

    • Constructed Response: In 2-3 paragraphs, respond to the following prompt: How were Native American groups impacted by the Indian Removal Act of 1830?

    • Poem: Using the information from the video clips, write and perform a poem. The song or poem should illustrate the impact of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 on Native Americans.

    • Video Presentation: Create a one-minute video that explains the impact that of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 on Native Americans.

    • Create Test Questions: Using the information from the video clips, create five test questions that would assess other students’ understanding of the impact of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 on Native Americans.

    • Mapping Indian Removal: Using a blank map of the United States, map the path of the three groups of Native Americans included in the video clips. Include a key to indicate their homelands, path and final location.

    • Argumentative Essay: In 2-3 paragraphs, answer the following prompt: In the introductory video clip, the curator describes the Trail of Tears as American democracy being on trial. Did American live up to its democratic ideals during this time? Use examples from the video to support your argument.
  • EXTENSION AND ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITY:

    Analyzing the Impact of Indian Removal on the United States- View the following video clip. Using this video clip and the previous video clips from the lesson to discuss the following prompt: What is the most significant consequence of the Indian Removal Act? Support your answer with examples from the videos.

    Clip: The Impact of the Indian Removal Act (4:34)

Additional Resources

Vocabulary

  • Ancestral Homeland
  • Cherokee Nation
  • Citizen Potawatomi
  • Democracy
  • Depot
  • Eviction
  • Ferry
  • Fort Gibson
  • Indian Nation
  • Indian Removal Act Of 1830
  • Indian Territory
  • Muscogee
  • Oklahoma
  • Reservation
  • Trail Of Death
  • Trail Of Tears
  • Treaty

Topics

State HistoryU.S. History

Grades

Middle SchoolHigh School