The study of Native American culture and European exploration is an essential foundation for every American history course. Lessons that include primary and secondary sources help students gain insight from a variety of perspectives as they explore and ask questions about the past. Topics covered include Native American culture and adaptation, Columbian Exchange and the Great Convergence.
Primary Source Exploration: Chief Red Jacket’s Speech – In this lesson, students read a speech by Seneca Chief Red Jacket in which he explain why Native Americans are hesitant to trust Christians. It’s a though provoking speech that always leads to interesting discussion. You could use the speech alone as a way to begin a discussion about perspectives, or you can use the citation activity I’ve attached.
Great Convergence PowerPoint – This quick powerpoint presentation shows a variety of things that are typically considered “American” and explains how they are actually examples of the influence The Great Convergence and cultural diversity.
Bellringers – Bellringer collections on powerpoint slides that cover a variety of topics.
Native Americans (Digital Doc in a box) – Students examine a variety of primary source documents and images to learn about the culture of Native Americans before European exploration.
Two Perspectives on the Battle of Little Bighorn/Greasy Grass – This lesson from the book The Price of Freedom: Americans at War asks students to analyze the perspectives of the American military and the Sioux Indians at the Battle of Little Big Horn through the analysis of primary sources.