Cherokee and Shawnee Lesson Plan

The Cherokee and the Shawnee


Teaching Aids: PowerPoint presentation, reference books, artifacts

Section Goals:  To learn about the History and Culture of two tribes that called Kentucky home.   This lesson focuses on the two tribes that had an impact in the central Kentucky area. 


Activity 1: What makes us unique and what makes us the same


Essential Questions:

1) Who are the Cherokee and Shawnee people?

2) How are they similar/different?

3) How has our perception of Indians inferred incorrect knowledge of the Natives in our area?


Targeted Standard/Core Content:

AE 1.11 Students write using appropriate forms, conventions, and styles to communicate ideas and information to different audiences for different purposes.

WR-04-2.3.1 -

1.   Students will communicate ideas and details in meaningful order.

2.   Students will apply a variety of transitions or transitional elements between ideas

      and details to guide the reader.

3.   Students will apply paragraphing effectively.

4.   Students will create conclusions effectively.



       1.   Students will communicate relevant information to clarify a specific purpose.

       2.   Students will develop an angle with support (e.g., facts, examples, reasons,

             comparisons, diagrams, charts, other visuals).

       3.   Students will develop explanations to support the writer’s purpose.

       4.   Students will apply research to support ideas with facts and opinions.

       5.   Students will incorporate persuasive techniques when appropriate (e.g.,

             bandwagon, emotional appeal, testimonial, expert opinion).


       1.   Students will communicate a purpose through informing or persuading.

       2.   Students will develop an effective angle to achieve purpose.

       3.   Students will communicate as an informed writer to clarify what the reader should             

             know, do or believe as a result of reading the piece.

       4.   Students will apply characteristics of the selected form (e.g., letter, feature                              


       5.   Students will use a suitable tone.

       6.   Students will allow voice to emerge when appropriate.



Technology/ materials:

Pen or pencil and paper



Product/ Assessment:

Writing assignment



1) After reviewing the information on the Cherokee and Shawnee people, have the students write a letter or feature article on what makes the Cherokee and Shawnee different and similar to each other.  Also on how these two tribes differ from the common stereotype of Native Americans.


Activity 2: Government


Essential questions:

1) How was the Cherokee government set up?

2) How were their leaders chosen and what were their powers?

3) What was the role of women in government?

4) What were the responsibilities on the average person in this government form?

5) How is it different from our government today?


Targeted Standard/ Core Content:

2:14- Students will understand the democratic principles of Justice, equality, responsibility, and freedom and apply them to real-life situations.

SS-4-GC-S-1 – Students will demonstrate an understanding of the nature of government.

SS-4-GC-S-2- Students will explore rights and responsibilities


Technology/ materials

Paper, pencil/ pen


Product Assessment:

Journal entry/ paper, in class participation



1) After reviewing the information on the Cherokee people and their government.  Have the class discuss how their government works and how it is different from ours. 

2) Have the class have a Cherokee style government for 1 day – 1 week.

3) As a class they are to pick their leaders (white/ peace, red/war chiefs), and the girls to be on the council of mothers (if you are a female, you might want to appoint yourself Pretty Woman as she can over ride decisions, if you are male you may want to take the position of Peace Chief, he has the power to over rule unless you are at war, I suggest that the class not go to war, J)

4) Once they have decided on their roles, they are to make all decisions by use of this body.  Remember this is a true democracy; everyone must agree for anything to be accomplished, i.e. laws passed, decisions made.

5) After the experiment in class have the children either write in their journal or write a paper on what it felt like to have that form of government; did they like it or not, what were the good points of this style of government, what were the bad points, and if they would like us to have that style of government today, and if it could work on a large scale.




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