Peter N. Herndon
My teaching unit, "Native Americans and the Clash of Cultures" is intended for high school U.S. history or World Cultures students. Also a course on civil law could benefit from the Lesson Plan section which gives attention to the recent legal battles the Native Americans have been fighting. I had several content goals in mind while preparing this material. First, that students would learn more about the conditions that forced the first Americans to arrive on this continent. Second, that they would learn more about the spread and development of early cultures in America. Third, students would become more aware of the reasons for the misunderstandings between the earliest Americans and the European immigrants, many of which continue to the present day. A fourth content goal is for students to discover what Indians are doing to preserve and promote their culture in a country that has traditionally excluded them from political and social participation. What kinds of issues and conditions are creating a renaissance in Native American life that are causing the rest of us to take notice? Another goal is for my students to use individual and group research methods that would enable them to make a classroom presentation to other students on an issue of contemporary interest to Native Americans. Finally, I want students to try to understand the cultural contributions and misunderstandings about Indians that have been perpetuated over the centuries and what we can do today to help dispel the old myths and misconceptions.
(Recommended for U.S. History, World History and Law, grades 9-12)