ALEX Lesson Plan

What is the Price of Land?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Ginger Boyd
System: Geneva County
School: Samson Middle School
The event this resource created for:Alabama Department of Archives and History
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34898


What is the Price of Land?


In this lesson, students will define conflict as it relates to Native American land conflict during the early nineteenth century.  Students will compare Native Americans' and settlers' perspectives on land.  Students will write a narrative writing as a Creek Chief watching the settlers move into their territory, focusing on how this makes them feel and how these events will change the lives of his/her people. 

This lesson was created in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
24 ) Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. [W.4.3]

a. Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator, characters, or both; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally. [W.4.3a]

b. Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations. [W.4.3b]

c. Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events. [W.4.3c]

d. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely. [W.4.3d]

e. Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events. [W.4.3e]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.4.24- Compose narrative texts by introducing characters or a narrator, organizing events in sequence, and providing an ending related to the event sequence.

Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 4
Alabama Studies
2 ) Relate reasons for European exploration and settlement in Alabama to the impact of European explorers on trade, health, and land expansion in Alabama.

•  Locating on maps European settlements in early Alabama, including Fort Condé, Fort Toulouse, and Fort Mims
•  Tracing on maps and globes, the routes of early explorers of the New World, including Juan Ponce de León, Hernando de Soto, and Vasco Núñez de Balboa
•  Explaining reasons for conflicts between Europeans and American Indians in Alabama from 1519 to 1840, including differing beliefs regarding land ownership, religion, and culture

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.4.2- Using maps, demonstrate an understanding that people from Europe explored and settled in Alabama.

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 4
R5) Locate and curate information from digital sources to answer research questions.

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 4
13) Synthesize complex information from multiple sources in different ways to make it more useful and/or relevant.

Local/National Standards:

D2.His.4.3-5. Explain why individuals and groups during the same historical period differed in their perspectives. 



Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to:

1)  define conflict as it relates to Native American land conflict during the early nineteenth century.   

2) compare Native Americans' and settlers' perspectives on land.

3) write a narrative writing as a Creek Chief watching settlers move into their territory, focusing on how this makes them feel and how these events will change the lives of his/her people. 

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Perspectives on the Land article from Nebraska State Historical Society (see attachments, one per student)

Two-Column Chart Perspectives Graphic Organizer (see attachments, one per student)

Creek Chief Narrative Writing Activity Directions & Rubric (see attachments, one per student)

Transcript of a Letter from Alexander McGillivray to Governor Zespedes

The following pictures of Native American Chiefs:

Technology Resources Needed:

iPads, Chromebooks, laptops, or some other devices connected to the internet (one per every 2 students)


  • Answer Garden website:  This website is a digital scribble space to use in the classroom.  Teachers can post a question or topic and students' answers will instantly form a digital word cloud.


For Students: 

Students should be knowledgeable about the early nineteenth century land expansion in Alabama and the factors leading up to the Creek War. 

For Teachers:  

  •  Teachers may want to read pages 52, 53, 54, 59, 514, and 523 in The Alabama Guide:  Our People, Resources, and Government for detailed information about Treaties.

 Williams, Randall, and Christine Garrett. The Alabama Guide: Our People, Resources, and Government 2009. Montgomery: Alabama Dept. of Archives and History, 2009. 52, 53, 54, 59, 514, and 523. Print.                                                 

  •  Teachers may also wish to read pages 34-39, 43-45, and 54, 55 in Alabama:  The Making of An American State.

 Bridges, Edwin C. Alabama: The Making of an American State. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: U of Alabama, 2016. 34-39, 43-45, and 54, 55. Print.     

The following links may also be helpful: 

Treaty of Indian Springs

Treaty with the Creeks


Before:  Using a device connected to the internet, ask the students to visit the Answer Garden website: and post a 2 to 3 word definition of the word "conflict".  (You can also do this by just posting a piece of chart paper, give students a different colored sharpie and have them write their response on the chart paper in different colors.  Or students can write their definition on a dry erase board.)  Some student definitions may include disagreement, argument, at odds with each other, squabble, clash, quarrel, or dispute.  Explain to students the Federal Government and the Native Americans were in a conflict over land during the early 1800s.  Both the Federal Government and the Native Americans had different perspectives on land use which created land conflict.


Step One: Show students Transcript of a Letter from Alexander McGillivray to Governor Zespedes.  Specifically point out the part of the letter that states, "The Gaining of these Creeks Nations over to them is more immediately an object of their policy and to effect which purpose they have held forth the most tempting baits to my people...."  

Explain to students the federal government began to negotiate a series of deceptive treaties with the Creek and Cherokee Indians, hoping to join settlements in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. The government made several promises to the Native Americans, but never really followed through on all of their promises.  McGillvray refers to these promises as "bait" in his letter. 

In 1805, the government gained the right to open and operate roads through Indian lands with the signing of the Treaty of Tellico with the Cherokees and the Treaty of Washington with the Creeks.  With each new treaty signed, the federal government took more and more Native American land and promised many new things to the Native Americans.  These were mostly empty promises that would never be kept.  Perhaps the settlers had a different perspective or "value" of the land than the Native Americans?

Step Two:  Place students in groups of 3 students per group.  Distribute the Two-Column Chart Perspectives Graphic Organizer (one per student, under attachments) and the Perspectives on the Land article (one per student, under attachments).  Have the students read the article carefully and find at least one way in which the settlers and the Native Americans viewed the land differently and write them in the graphic organizer.  Set the classroom timer for 20 minutes, then let students share their findings. 

After:  Show the following pictures of Native American Chiefs who were involved in the signing of these treaties.  Some on the side of the government and some on the side of the Creeks.

The students will write a narrative as a Creek Chief watching settlers move into their territory.  In their narrative, they will describe how this makes them feel and how they think these events may change the lives of their people.  Students' narratives will be posted on the bulletin board for everyone to read.

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Assessment Strategies

This lesson will be assessed based on the Graphic Organizer and on the Narrative Writing Rubric.


Students can research one of the Native American Chiefs shown during the lesson via the internet and create a power point presentation using Google Slides to present to the class.

Suggested Reading List:

  • Bailer, Darice, and Tom Antonishak. Wanted--a Few Bold Riders. Norwalk, CT: Soundprints, 1997. Print.                                                 
  • Dorris, Michael. Morning Girl by Michael Dorris. Oakland, CA: Developmental Studies Center, 1996. Print.  
  • Fritz, Jean, and Feodor Rojankovsky. The Cabin Faced West. New York: Coward-McCann, 1958. Print.                                                  
  • Glass, Andrew. The Sweetwater Run: The Story of Buffalo Bill Cody and the Pony Express. New York: Doubleday Book for Young Readers, 1996. Print.  
  • Kroll, Steven, and Dan Andreasen. Pony Express! New York: Scholastic, 1996. Print. 
  • Paulsen, Gary. Call Me Francis Tucket. New York, NY: Delacorte, 1995. Print.
  • Turner, Ann Warren. Grasshopper Summer. New York: Macmillan, 1989. Print.                                                 
  • Wilson, Diane L. Black Storm Comin' New York: Margaret K. McElderry, 2005. Print.                                                 


Students who need extra support should be placed in groups with teammates sensitive to the needs of that student.  The teacher may need to more closely supervise groups that contain students who are struggling with the concepts of this lesson.  The teacher may also need to provide additional instructions individually.  Students may also need additional time.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.