This unit study will focus of course on the culture and life of a few different Native American people, I wanted to expose the injustices and ugly side of American history. Those are teachable moments too of examples that we do not want to be like. The ugly side of history is something we do not shy away from, but I do think it should be approached in age appropriate ways. It’s crazy though how even very young children know when something is not fair and can have empathy for a fellow being. It’s just as they are older they can begin to value the model lessons.
The Trail of Tears Lapbook Cover
For the lapbook cover we chose a picture of a Cherokee chief to color. Too, there are some beautiful free pictures to color that are not babyish found on the website First People (link available below) and that is where we got this picture.
Download: Cover Page Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears Hands-On Activity
Cherokee Garden Pan Bread
Cherokee ate both garden foods and wild plants. Corns, beans, squash, and wild yams grew in the Cherokees’ large gardens. Women collected raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, and gooseberries. They also gathered walnuts, hickory nuts and pecans from surrounding forests. They ground seeds, nuts and corn into meal with a hollowed out log, called a mortar and a coarse stick. This recipe uses a lot of the ingredients that they would have had on hand then.
The Trail of Tears Notebooking Pages
With this unit study I am also sharing some notebook pages will which help with understanding about the different types of tribes that lived along the southeastern part of the United States. This will also help to build appreciation for the way they care for the land and depended on it for survival. They were hunters, farmers and they fished.
Even easy geography lesson is important to understanding the trek that not only the Cherokee made, but several other tribes took because it helps to build appreciation for the harsh conditions they endured.
By locating the tribes on the southeastern part of the United States in their atlas, your children can understand that they lived in log homes, and planted squash, beans and corn in the rich soil. The land they loved and built on was wooded and had rivers. As they worked the land, they enjoyed the bounty provided by it.
Recommended Reading for
The Trail of Tears Unit
I wanted to share with you some excellent books that will serve to round out The Trail of Tears Unit Study. It was hard to find books for middle school but I found a few. Also, a couple of the books listed I am using for information in the lapbook because they have good reference material.
You can find links to all of the books below in the additional resources section. But you can see the entire list for The Trail of Tears Books for Kids on the original post to see what age ranges each book is best for and how it fits as a part of the unit study.
The Trail of Tears Lapbook Downloads
The Trail of Tears Minibook
With this, The Trail of Tears minibook, it is really a tear shaped printable to use either on the front of your lapbook or inside lapbook as a way to introduce The Trail of Tears.
Trail of Tears silhouette credit: Edees Crafty Corner.
Cherokee Clans Minibook
NEED SOME TEXT HERE
Indian Removal Act Minibook
So this next minibook is a bit about the Indian Removal Act and how it affected not only the Cherokee, but the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole. I included a few facts about the topic. Of course, you don’t have to use the facts or inside page we researched. You can add your own research.
The Trail of Tears Vocabulary Minibook
I try to keep all my minibooks flexible. For example, with this minibook, I have 2 different ones. The first one has vocabulary words already selected. The second page also has the definitions typed out. Simply research and glue them under the tab. The second minibook (not pictured) is blank. The second page is blank too so that your children can write in the definitions. With options comes the ability to use the minibooks for the various ages and abilities of your children. For example, you may want to use the definitions already filled in with a younger child or, like me, you may be using the lapbooks for enrichment and so there is no need for tons of writing.
We read about Sequoyah and his contribution to the Cherokee language and how his people viewed him. Like most of my minibooks, you can use the information we added or use your own research. I try to provide some information always on the minibooks to help in case you have made more lesson plans than you have time at the moment.
Did You Know? Minibook
Then we did an easy Did You Know minibook. Tiny wanted to take a bunny trail off this unit study to talk about Davy Crockett because he was against the Indian Removal Act.
Normally, we would venture away from our topic, but this time we stuck to it because we had such a long stretch of time in finishing it.
What is Injustice? Minibook
In this minibook I wanted kids to think about the injustices in the world today and to read about the Bible’s view on it. The terrible injustice done to all the civilized tribes at that time should touch any heart young and old and this gives your child a chance to voice his opinion on it.
Additional Resources for
The Trail of Tears Unit Study
- First People -dedicated to all First People of North America.
- American Indian Cooking Before 1500.
- Colonial Cooking
- Cooking on the Lewis and Clark Expedition
- The Trail of Tears (Step into Reading)
- The Trail of Tears (American Moments)
- The Trail of Tears: A History Just for Kids
- Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears
- If You Lived With The Cherokees
- On This Long Journey, the Journal of Jesse Smoke, a Cherokee Boy, the Trail of Tears, 1838 (My Name Is America)
- Trail of Tears (Essential Events).
- The Trail of Tears (We the People: Expansion and Reform)
- Life on the Trail of Tears (Picture the Past)
- Trail of Tears (Landmarks of the American Mosaic)
- The Trail of Tears (Cornerstones of Freedom. Third Series)