Students will never truly understand how to interpret historic events until they realize the importance of perspective. Psychologically, most middle school students do not have a good grip on the perspectives of others and rely only on their own view of the world to interpret what happens. I teach in a rural area that is mostly lacking in ethnic diversity and where most students would consider themselves Christians. 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.
I always use this audio clip from the American Rhetoric website for students to read along with.
Seneca Chief Red Jacket – Speech Transcript and Citation Activity