Indian Removal remains a defining component within contemporary Native American history. This unit explores this historical trauma within the Cherokee communities in order to highlight the relationship between injustice and American democracy.
Through an analysis of historical documents, eyewitness accounts, Cherokee family stories, paintings, poetry, songs, online videos as well as children’s historical fiction books and informational texts, students will gain a familiarity with the Trail of Tears event – the forced removal of sixteen thousand Cherokee Indians from their homes in Georgia to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in 1838.
This unit, divided into four sections, is interdisciplinary in scope and incorporates reading, writing, art, history and social studies:
Examine a Myth and Begin to Get to Know a People
Two Influential Figures in Cherokee History
Three Events Shaping the Destiny of the Cherokee Nation
The Trail of Tears: Voices from the Past and Present
Designed with first-graders in mind, this unit could easily be adapted for use in other primary and intermediate grades.
(Recommended for English Language Arts and History/Social Studies, grades 1-5)