Middle School Social Studies Lesson Plan
By Abby Markley, middle school English and Social Studies teacher, University of Wyoming Lab School
and Margo Berendsen, cartographer, Geographic Information Science Center, UW
Editor’s note: Special thanks to Wyoming Humanities for support that made development of this plan possible.
Time: (3, 60 minute class periods)
Lesson Overview: The lesson will include interactive maps and jigsaw collaborative activities that will explore the timeline and themes developed by the Two Nations, One Reservation guide for students as well as a collection of primary sources from Wyoming Humanities. For the jigsaw, students will work in small groups to use these resources to become experts on one of the identified themes in the Two Nations, One Reservation guide: Written versus oral; Climate of fear and violence; horses and guns; Assigned lands; Chasing gold and building railroads; and Broken treaties. Then, they will share and synthesize information with their classmates to answer the lesson’s essential question.
Essential Question: How was Native American culture transformed by contact with Europeans, and what impact did these transformations have on the Native Americans?
Click here to see a spreadsheet aligning Wyoming State Social Studies and Common Core Standards for this and other digital toolkits of Wyoming History.
We will update the standards spreadsheet as more lesson plans are developed.
- Secure enough computers for each student.
- Create 1 copy of each of the 6 theme anchor images.
- Secure a way to display the essential question.
- 1 set of large labels displaying the name of each theme.
- Create digital or hard copy folders for each of the 6 Theme Resources (linked below).
- Create digital or hard copies of the Two Nations, One Reservation Kids Guide from https://www.thinkwy.org/initiatives/wy-treaties-matter
- Create digital or hard copies of the 6 Theme Graphic Organizer for each student.
- Create digital or hard copies of the Collaboration Guide.
- Gather chart or large construction paper and markers for each group.
- Gather enough sticky notes for the class.
- Create two groupings of students. 1) 6 Theme Expert Groups 2) Collaboration Groups that have one student from each of the 6 Theme Expert Groups.
- Create digital or hard copies of the Reflection.
- As students enter the room, have 1 copy of each of 6 theme anchor images posted around the room.
- Tell students to travel to each of the 6 posters (or you may choose to give students a rotation for pursuing each of the images). As they stop at each of the images, they need to place three sticky notes at each. Each sticky note should complete one of these statements:
- I notice…
- I think…
- I wonder…
- Display the essential question for the students. Tell them that this is the question we will be exploring over the next three days with interactive maps and primary sources.
- Then, tell the students that they will be exploring this question through the lens of 6 themes:
- Climate of Fear and Violence
- Assigned Lands
- Broken Treaties
- Written versus Oral
- Horses and Guns
- Chasing Gold and Building Railroads
- Ask the students to guess which 6 theme anchor image matches each theme. Label the anchor images as students correctly match each theme with its image. Then, move the labels and anchor images to the areas of the room where each of the 6 theme groups will meet.
- Move the students to one of each of the 6 groups.
- Give each student a copy of the Two Nations, One Reservation Kids Guide and the 6 Themes Graphic Organizer.
- Instruct students to work as a team using their Two Nations, One Reservation Kids Guide to add as much information as possible to their graphic organizer. Once they have exhausted this resource (Two Nations, One Reservation Kids Guide) share the appropriate resources for the group from the 6 Theme Resource Guide (linked below)
- Instruct the students to work cooperatively to consult the resources for their theme and complete their graphic organizer. It is important that the student collects his/her own information and truly understands the content as he/she will be teaching peers that did not explore this theme. As students finish up for the day, remind them to record the source they were using at the end of class, so they know where to pick up tomorrow.
- Instruct students to return to their theme groups. Ideally, their anchor image would be at their group’s location waiting for them.
- Refer students back to the essential question to remind them what is trying to be answered through this research.
- Before students have taken out any of their materials, tell them to revisit their anchor image. As they revisit the image, ask them to verbally share what they have learned so far that could help to answer the essential question.
- Grab materials and continue exploring the resources to complete the graphic organizer. Students should be prepared to teach their peers first thing in class tomorrow.
- As the students enter the room today, they need to access their graphic organizers and sit with their new groups. Each of the new groups should have one student from each of the 6 theme groups. If there are not enough groups for this, some students can be paired up to share together.
- Give each student in the room a copy of the Collaboration Guide. Have each of the theme experts teach their peers about their theme and their findings while completing the Collaboration Guide.
- Once all students have shared, have the group create and record a collaborative answer to the essential question. Post the answer on the chart paper.
- Share all group’s collaborative answers with the whole class. Discuss how the answers are similar and different. Ask students to push back on or challenge answers they do not agree with. Have students provide evidence to support other group’s statements.
- Pass out and have the students complete the reflection. Collect student reflections.
Possible Extension/Enrichment Activities to Support These Lessons
- Students use all of the available resources on the 6 Theme Resource Guide to write a research paper exploring a student generated research question.
- Students explore all of the maps presented in the 6 Theme Resource Guide for a targeted geography lesson.
- Students collect visual sources from the 6 Themes Resource Guide that they feel connect to specific maps. They argue in writing or discussion as to why they feel their image matches the map.
- Students work in pairs or small teams to create a museum display for one of the themes then share their display with the class.
6 Theme Resource Guide
Climate of Fear and Violence
- The Grattan Fight: Prelude to a Generation of War
- Attack on the Kelly-Larimer Wagon Train
- Gathering the Tribes: The Cheyennes Come Together after Sand Creek
- The Battles of Platte Bridge Station and Red Buttes
- Three Mixed-race Families and a Wagon Train Attack: A Story of Frontier Survival
- The Dull Knife Fight, 1876: Troops Attack a Cheyenne Village on the Red Fork of Powder River
- The Cheyenne Homecoming
- Trouble at Lightning Creek: "A Stained Page in Wyoming's History"
- From Wind River to Carlisle: Indian Boarding Schools in Wyoming and the Nation
Additional Sources in this Lesson Plan:
- “Emigrant trails, landmarks and forts.” Wyoming Student Atlas story map, at https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=804b8554a0d943e2beef66ddf6629b20
- Treaty of Fort Laramie, 1851 (full text). North Dakota Studies, accessed May 29, 2020 at https://www.ndstudies.gov/gr8/content/unit-iii-waves-development-1861-1920/lesson-1-changing-landscapes/topic-4-reservation-boundaries/section-2-treaty-fort-laramie-1851.
- “Sioux Treaty of 1868.” National Archives Educator Resources, accessed May 29, 2020 at https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/sioux-treaty. Includes image of the handwritten text of the treaty.
- “Transcript of the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868).” www.ourdocuments.gov, accessed May 29, 2020 at https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=42&page=transcript
- “Treaty with the Eastern Band Shoshoni and Bannock, 1868.” Fws.gov, accessed May 29, 2020 at https://www.fws.gov/pacific/ea/tribal/treaties/shoshoni_banncock_1868.pdf.
- “Wind River Treaty Documents.” Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum, accessed May 29, 2020 at https://jacksonholehistory.org/wind-river-treaty-documents/. Includes commentary on and links to texts of the 1863 and 1868 treaties with the Eastern Shoshones; the Brunot cession, 1872; the Big Horn (Thermopolis) hot springs sale, 1896; and the land cession of 1904.
- Before Wyoming: American Indian Geography and Trails
- Separate Lands for Separate Tribes: The Horse Creek Treaty of 1851
- Coming to Wind River: The Eastern Shoshone Treaties of 1863 and 1868
- Peace, War, Land and a Funeral: The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868
- Father De Smet’s Map: Tribal boundaries and the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851
- Compare and Contrast 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties
- “Indigenous tribes of Wyoming.” Wyoming Student Atlas story map, at http://.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=c82430cc0332460d97cdbc5eab1d023a
- The Arapaho Arrive: Two Nations on One Reservation
- Fragmenting Tribal Lands: The Dawes Act of 1887
- When the Tribes Sold the Hot Springs
- The Tribes Sell Off More Land: The 1905 Agreement
- Native Rights to Wind River Water
- “Broken Treaties.” Wyoming Student Atlas story map, at https://wyga.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=1c177978eb034b218be57507a70ef612
Written versus Oral
- Selections from Arapaho Stories, Songs and Prayers, https://www.wyohistory.org/sites/default/files/ArapahoStorieBook.pdf.
- Sources cited in the “Seven Sisters” lesson plan: The Story of the Seven Sisters
Horses and Guns
- Larocque, Francois Antoine. “Journal of a Voyage to the Rocky Mountains, From My Leaving the Assinibois River on the 2nd June, 1805.” Accessed May 29, 2020 at https://user.xmission.com/~drudy/mtman/html/larocque.html.
- Russell, Osborne. Journal of a Trapper: Or, Nine Years in the Rocky Mountains, 1834-1843, 31. Accessed May 29, 2020 at https://books.google.com/books?id=49HTAAAAMAAJ&pg=PR3&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false.
- “Early explorers and fur trappers.” Wyoming Student Atlas story map, at https://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=62367b6e0da5481a86cfe04474d467ee.
Chasing Gold and Building Railroads
- Coming to Wind River: The Eastern Shoshone Treaties of 1863 and 1868
- *Search “gold,” then go to subsection “Gold and a Railroad.”
- South Pass Gold Rush
- Industry, Politics and Power: the Union Pacific in Wyoming
- Crook's Powder River Campaigns of 1876
- “Railroad expansion, stage roads, and cattle trails.” Wyoming Student Atlas story map, accessed May 29, 2020 at http://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=2e8afa8c0ca346488f04558d12e14658.