Farishta Mohd, Touro TESOL Teacher Candidate’s Literacy Unit on America’s Indian Removal Policies

Imagine you are given 48 hours to pack your things and move to another home. Would you move? Why or why not?
“I fought through the civil war and have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered by thousands, but the Cherokee removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.” ~John Burnett, US Army

Farishta Mohd is in her second semester at Touro College. She graduated from CUNY Queens College with a BA in History and a minor in Secondary Education. She teaches as a pre-kindergarten teacher at a private school in Flushing. As a former ELL student, she as attuned to the difficulties English Language Learners experience.  With her TESOL degree from the Graduate School of Education, Touro College, she hopes to address ELL needs and “pave the way for a brighter future for them just like my teachers and professors continue to do for me.”

Ms. Mohd’s timely unit on America’s Indian Removal Policies focuses on uncovering the concept of the Indian Removal Act and the role of the US government in this pivotal time of US history.

Trail of Tears

 America’s Indian Removal Policies  

https://civics.sites.unc.edu/files/2012/05/IndianRemoval11.pdf

Content and Skills Summary

In this three-week unit, students will uncover the concept of the Indian Removal Act and the role of the US government in carrying it out. Students will examine America’s Indian removal policies, including events leading up to the passage of Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act and the effect it had on NativeAmericans. Students will examine primary source documents from the 1830s, to gain insight on the political strategies, perspectives, culture clashes, and historical consequences of this time period.

In analyzing primary documents students will use close reading to find the origins, context, purpose and the author’s arguments. Students will use modified versions of primary source documents. Students will annotate keyphrases that capture the author’s central idea. When comparing and contrasting opposing points of view students will use explicit language from the text. Students will use the guideline Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal to break down primary source documents. 

To demonstrate their mastery of the content students will take a stand for or against the Indian Removal Act by organizing a skit. Students will role play and bring the words of historical figures to life. Students will use their annotated primary sources to assemble a skit that will display their understanding of differing perspectives on the Indian Removal Act.  

All activities, lessons, in-class tasks and take home assignments will encompass the four basic foundations of language: reading, writing, speaking and listening.  

Reading

  • Read primary document
  • Look for the development of ideas and the use of academic language.
  • Find the author’s point of view by evaluating his arguments, claims and ideas.

Writing

  • Write answers to guiding questions from the primary source  
  • Show awareness of audience
  • Follow the Conventions of Standard English in capitalization, comma usage, and spelling.
  •  Use descriptive language in conveying your ideas about the author’s point of view
  • Cite quotations from readings
  • Annotate key phrases, words and sentences that support the author’s argument   

Speaking

  • Orally share  responses to guiding questions  
  • Ask questions and make comments about the text’s structure and features
  • Discuss the author’s point of view about the topic

Listening

  • Listen to questions posed about the text’s structures and features
  • listen to peer presentations
  • Listen to peers reading chunks of primary source documents
  • Listen to teacher say each vocabulary word and its definition at the beginning of each lesson

Reading strategies like the one below will be utilized throughout the unit to help students comprehend the texts.

Learning Objectives

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Compare and contrast opposing points of view when reading primary source documents  
  • Identify main ideas and opinions of an assigned reading
  • Identify the details from the text that support the author’s main ideas, opinions and themes
  • Explain orally and in writing an author’s use of academic language
  • Summarize the author’s point of view/purpose from assigned reading
  • Apply conventions of Standard English for capitalization, comma usage, and spelling in written text.
  • Take notes by gathering and categorizing or organizing graphically or outlining and sequencing while reading informational text
  • Create in writing an effective claim or argument against or for the Indian Removal Act
  • Investigate the role of the US government in the removal of Native American tribes in 1830.
  • Define the phrase “Manifest Destiny” and its significance in The Indian Removal Act of 1830.
  • Evaluate and assess the reasons given to remove Native Americans from their ancestral homes. 
  • Identify Cherokee reactions to the removal act

Assessments

Formative assessment

  • After reading the primary source documents Andrew Jackson’s Second State of the Union Address December 6, 1830,  and Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation, 1836
  • Students will first annotate key phrases, words or sentences that show the authors’ main idea. Using textual evidence students will then list the reasons for each authors’ claims. Students will work in small groups using the guide Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal
  • Giving feedback and evaluating peer presentations
  • Close reading annotations
  • Self-questioning and taking a stand
  • Organizing  and presenting skits

Skills

  • Use questions to examine the text’s topic, information, and structure
  • Analyze key details and language to increase understanding
  • Compare and contrast two opposing points of view
  • Use context clues to decode the meaning of new and unfamiliar words
  • Use writing strategies to summarize key ideas of primary source documents
  • Close read to get the gist of the text
  • Use text explicit words, phrases and sentences that support the main idea
  • Work in small groups  
  • Close reading to get the gist of the primary source document
  • Use text explicit word/phrase/sentences to explain the impact of the Indian Removal Act on Native Americans.
  • Organize a skit to show the Cherokee Nation’s perspective on their forced removal.
  • Compare and contrasting the message conveyed by each document.
  • Use context clues to figure out word meaning
  • Will work in groups to analyze primary documents  

Instructional Materials

  • Andrew Jackson’s Second State of the Union Address December 6, 1830
  • Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation, 1836
  • Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal
  • Examining Primary Sources-Reading Group Roles

Lesson # 1

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.6

Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Vocabulary: announce, benevolent, pursued, consummation, propose, savage annihilated and unconstrained.

Motivation: Imagine you are given 48 hours to pack your things and move to another home. Would you move? Why or why not?

Guiding Questions

  • What were the different points of view offered regarding the removal of Native Americans in the 1830s?
  • What role, if any, does the removal of Native Americans play in the theory of the United States’ “Manifest Destiny”?

Learning Objectives SWBAT

  • After completing this lesson, students should be able to:
  • Evaluate and assess the reasons given to remove Native Americans from their ancestral lands.
  • Compare and contrast different primary source documents with differing points of view
  • Make connections between the removal of Native Americans and the theory of “Manifest Destiny.”

Language Objective SWBAT

  • Read modified primary source documents proficiently and independently.
  • Annotate key words/phrases/sentences that explain the reasons why Native Americans were removed from their lands
  • List textual evidence that show differing points of view on the removal act

Procedure: Today we are going learn about a group of people who were forcibly removed from their homes. They were a Native American group known as the Cherokees. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act to remove Indians from their lands. Not all Americans were in agreement with this new act and many indicated their disapproval. President Jackson, in addressing his Second State of the Union, gave his reasons for removing Native Americans. We are going to get in groups of five and look at some primary documents. One will be President Jackson’s Second State of the Union. Another will be Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation, 1836. A third document will be Native American Voices – Colonel Webb (Choctaw).  Each group member will have an assigned role. Read the handout Examining Primary Source-Reading Group Roles and decide what you will do. You will read the primary source documents.You will use the handout Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal to break down the text.

Exit Ticket: List the differing points of view from the documents you analyzed with your group.  Use specific words from the text. Present your findings as a group.  

Name:                                 Your Role

Title of Your Document:

Instructions for Examining Primary Sources Regarding Indian Removal

1. Group Up: Arrange your group so that you are in a circle so that everyone can see and effectively communicate with everyone else.

2. Skim: First, silently skim the document provided to you. Does anything pop out first? (i.e. do you see any clues as to what the document may be about; is there anything that catches your attention or that you find interesting or confusing?; etc.)

3. Read: Together, carefully read through the document provided to you. The language may be confusing to you, or seem difficult to understand. Take your time and reread as needed. As you read, mark the text:

  • Circle any words that are unfamiliar to you. Underline any parts of the document that you think are most important or that stick out to you.
  •  If you are confused by any part of the document, write a question mark by that line or section. You can also write outquestions on the text.
  • If anything surprises you or evokes a strong emotional response from you, you can write an exclamation mark by the line or section.
  • If a particular thought pops in your head that connects to the reading, write it in the margins.

4. Discuss: The “Facilitator” will lead your group in discussing the following questions. You can also raise your own questions for discussion.  

  • What parts of this text did you underline as most important or interesting and why?
  • What does this document tell us regarding America’s Indian Removal policies in the 1830s?
  • What emotions or feelings are evident in this document? Or, what emotions or feelings would it have aroused in Natives, government officials, and/or European settlers?
  •  What is the purpose of this document? What evidence in the text makes you think this?
  •  Predict what impact you think this document, or the subject matter it addresses, will have on Native Americans and on the European/American settlers.
  • Based on this document, who would be impacted by America’s Indian removal policies and in what ways?  
  • Imagine you are living in the 1830s and you come across this document. How would you feel about it and why?
  • As you read this document, what images came to mind? If you were going to create a painting based on this document or the subject it addresses, what might your painting contain or look like and why?

 5. Prepare to Present: Each group will present.  In order to teach the remainder of class about the document your group read and discussed, assist the Presenter in preparing to summarize the text and your discussion/opinions regarding the text for the remainder of class. In addition, choose at least 3-5 sentences of the text that you think are most important that the Presenter will read to the class during his/her presentation.

6. Extra Time? If your group has time left after completing all of the above steps, each of you should return to the question posed above: If you were going to create a painting based on this document or the subject it addresses, what might your painting contain or look like and why? Reconsider this question, then as individuals, create your own piece of art that in some way represents or symbolizes the document you read. The Task Manager will retrieve the art supplies you need from the teacher.

Examining Primary Sources – Reading Group Roles

  • Facilitator: Your job is to lead the discussion on the reading provided to your group. Pose discussion questions to the group and ensure that every voice is heard (including your own). Make sure the group stays focused on the task assigned. While ensuring everyone else participates in the discussion, you should also provide your thoughts. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  • Recorder: Your job is to take notes during the discussion your group has regarding the reading assigned to you. Make sure you write down a final answer to each discussion question. You will assist the Presenter in preparing his/her notes for the summary he/she provides to the other groups. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  • Task Manager: Your job is to monitor the time as your group works and to provide time warnings (i.e. “10 minutes left,” “5 minutes left,” etc.) to your group. Make sure that your group equally divides its time among the questions and tasks, while ensuring all aspects of the assignment are completed before time is up. If any supplies are needed, you are responsible for getting them and ensuring they are returned. Also, assist the Facilitator in ensuring everyone in the group participates and stays on track. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  • Presenter: Your job is to summarize your group’s discussion for the remainder of class once time is up. Make sure you do this in a way that teaches the other groups about the reading assigned to your group. Be prepared to speak in a clear, concise manner. The Recorder can help you in preparing and writing the summary to be presented. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.
  •  Q & A-er: Your job is to keep track of any questions that your group members pose throughout the discussion. Whenever possible, assist in finding the answers to these questions. (For example, you may need to look up a word in the dictionary, or consult your text book for further information on a topic.) If the group needs the teacher’s assistance, you are responsible for communicating the group’s questions or needs to the teacher. Also, after the Presenter summarizes your group’s reading and discussion with the remainder of class, you are responsible for answering any clarifying questions other groups may have of your group. You should also participate in the discussion by providing your thoughts to the questions posed regarding the reading assigned to your group. Make sure you listen to your other group members and add on to their ideas whenever possible. Pose any of your own questions that come to mind as well.

References

Robertson, Kristina. Preparing an engaging social studies lesson for english language learners. 

Retrieved from: http://www.colorincolorado.org/article/preparing-engaging-social-studies-lesson-english-language-learners

Author: drcowinj

As an Assistant Professor for TESOL and Bilingual Programs at Touro College, Graduate School of Education Dr. Cowin’s focus is on the Responsibility to Touro Students (Teaching), Responsibility to the Discipline (Scholarship), Responsibility to Touro College and Community (Service). Dr. Cowin strives to inspire students to be creative and to model the love of lifelong learning by inculcating the habits and attitudes that create agile mindsets. 21st-century learning extends well beyond the classroom, and Dr. Cowin incorporates takes full advantage of online learning technologies for L2 language acquisition and current global trends in teaching English as a Second Language She represents high levels of scholarship and participates fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline. Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publication, presentation and participation in academic conferences, articles in Education Update, blogging and other scholarly activities, including public performances or exhibitions at conferences and workshops such as the Plekhanov University of Economics keynote address in 2018. Of special interest to her are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education, Current Global Trends in Teaching English; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English – Methodology; E-learning & Micro-Methodology in Teaching English; and E-Resources Discovery and Analysis.

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