ALEX Lesson Plan


Move the Cherokee People

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Molly Hollis
System: Huntsville City
School: Monte Sano Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 6356


Move the Cherokee People


During this lesson, students will explore facts about the Cherokee people, their history, their culture, and their future. This lesson will help students begin to realize how the actions of our predecessors affected people in the past and today. The Internet will be used as a research tool to help students learn more about the Trail of Tears. Students will also have the opportunity to produce a slideshow presentation to share their new knowledge about the Trail of Tears.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (3-5)
2. Use various technology applications, including word processing and multimedia software.
  • Using navigational features commonly found in technology applications
  • Identifying digital file types
  • TC2 (3-5)
    5. Practice safe use of technology systems and applications.
    Examples: protecting personal information online, avoiding inappropriate sites, exiting inappropriate sites
    TC2 (3-5)
    6. Describe social and ethical behaviors related to technology use.
    Examples: social—developing positive attitudes for using technology collaboratively
    ethical—citing sources of text and digital content, avoiding plagiarism, avoiding manipulation of others' work without permission
  • Describing the global nature of the Internet
  • Following local acceptable-use policies regarding technology
  • Identifying intrusive applications, including worms, viruses, spyware, and pop-up advertisements
  • TC2 (3-5)
    8. Collect information from a variety of digital sources.
    Examples: online libraries, multimedia dictionaries
  • Using technology tools to organize information
  • Demonstrating efficient Internet search strategies
  • Example: keyword search
  • Evaluating electronic resources for reliability based on publication date, bias, accuracy, and source credibility
  • TC2 (3-5)
    12. Create a product using digital tools.
    Examples: products—digital story, podcast, digital artwork
    SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
    3. Explain the social, political, and economic impact of the War of 1812, including battles and significant leaders of the Creek War, on Alabama.
    Examples: social—adoption of European culture by American Indians, opening of Alabama land for settlement
    political—forced relocation of American Indians, labeling of Andrew Jackson as a hero and propelling him toward Presidency
    economic—acquisition of tribal land in Alabama by the United States
  • Explaining the impact of the Trail of Tears on Alabama American Indians' lives, rights, and territories
  • SS2010 (5) United States Studies: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution
    10. Describe political, social, and economic events between 1803 and 1860 that led to the expansion of the territory of the United States, including the War of 1812, the Indian Removal Act, the Texas-Mexican War, the Mexican-American War, and the Gold Rush of 1849.
  • Analyzing the role of the Louisiana Purchase and explorations of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark for their impact on Westward Expansion
  • Explaining the purpose of the Monroe Doctrine
  • Identifying Alabama's role in the expansion movement in the United States, including the Battle of Horseshoe Bend and the Trail of Tears (Alabama)
  • Identifying the impact of technological developments on United States' expansion
  • Examples: steamboat, steam locomotive, telegraph, barbed wire

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will describe the Trail of Tears and its effect on the Cherokee people. Students will create a slideshow incorporating information about the Trail of Tears.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    Students will examine the United States government's actions during the time period 1800-1850 and discuss their conclusions.

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Handouts: Trail of Tears Information Sheet (one per student) and Saving a picture from the Internet (one per student)

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computer with Internet access, presentation Software, floppy Disks (one per student), color printer


    This is a lesson within a larger Native American unit. It centers on the study of the Cherokee people and the Trail of Tears. The students will need prior knowledge of Native American history and cultures with a focus on the interaction between Native Americans and European settlers of the late 1700s and early 1800s. Students will need to know basic computer skills including keyboarding, word processing, and Internet navigating skills.
    The teacher will need to save the slide show template to the computer before the lesson, so students may make revisions to it.
    The teacher should also bookmark the websites for students.

    1.)Begin the lesson by listening to the song "Trail of Tears" on the website below. Ask students what their impressions were about the song. See if students can detect the pain and sorrow in the song. Briefly describe the Trail of Tears.
    (Trail of Tears)
    This website has a recording of the song "Trail of Tears" song in a native language.

    2.)Explain that students are to investigate the Trail of Tears by looking for information at the following websites. Explain that the information gathered will be used to create a slideshow presentation about the Trail of Tears. Have students use the Trail of Tears Information Sheet (attached) to collect information.
    (National Historic Trail)
    This website shares many details about the Trail of Tears. There are many links for students to view additional information.

    3.)Have students save pictures from the websites to use in their slideshow presentations. Teach students how to save the pictures using the attached instruction sheet. (Give each student a floppy disk to save his/her work.)
    (History of the Cherokee)
    This website gives many facts about the history of the Cherokee people. There are facts about the Trail of Tears.

    4.)Remind students to cite the source of their pictures or information from the Internet.
    (Research and Style Manual - Works Cited for Grades 3)
    Bibliographic citation format for elementary students.

    (Historical Documents)
    This website contains historical documents about the Trail of Tears.

    6.)Once students have completed the information sheet, direct students to brainstorm with their peers regarding titles for their own presentations.

    7.)Have students open the Trail of Tears slideshow template. Instruct students to a) type the title and their name on the first slide; b) click on the File menu and choose "Save as;" c) rename the presentation, (their own) "Name/Tears."

    8.)Students should use the template to guide their presentations. They will need to answer the questions on the slides in paragraph form. Students will need to insert a picture on the slides that have the "insert picture" icon on them. Remind students to save often. (Demonstrate how to click on the "Save" icon.)

    9.)Once students have completed the slideshows, divide the class into 4 small groups. Have students share their presentations with the small group. Once all groups have finished sharing their presentations, have students share with the entire class what they learned from their groups' presentations. Collect all floppy disks. Use the attached rubric to grade each student's presentation.

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    Assessment Strategies

    The teacher will assess the lesson using the attached rubric.


    Advanced students may add additional slides/enhancements to their presentations.


    Students needing assistance may work with a partner to complete the slideshow.

    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.