Could You Survive the Trail of Tears?



Are you ready to begin?!!  There are 4 Modules that you will have to complete before beginning your essay.  Each module is numbered.  Under each module, follow the provided links, which will redirect you to a web page containing information on that particuliar subject.  Make sure you have a piece of paper and a pencil with you, as you will need to take notes as you go.


Module One- Pick a Tribe

     The Trail of Tears involved the removal of the "Five Civilized Tribes" in Southeast America.  The "Five Civilized Tribes" are the Cherokee, the Choctaw, the Chickasaw, the Creek, and the Seminole Indians.  Follow each link to learn about each of the individual tribes' backgrounds, customs, and traditions.   When you have finished visiting each link, pick the tribe that you wish to be a part of.  Make sure you take notes, as you will use this information in your essay!


Questions to consider when taking notes on your tribe:

  1. Which part of the country did your Indian tribe live?
  2. What were the roles of women, men, and children in your tribe?
  3. What were some of the rituals/customs of your tribe?
  4. How is your tribe's leadership organized?
  5. What kind of housing, clothing, and food were specific to your tribe?

Did you decide which tribe you want to join? Great!  Be sure to write your tribe's name down and notes about their culture.  You can then proceed to Module 2!


Module Two- Pick an Indian Name

   Now that you are a member of the tribe, you need an Indian name.  Click on the following link to read some Indian names and their meanings.  When you are finished, write your Indian name and its meaning in your notes. 

Questions to consider:

  1. What is your Indian name?
  2. What does your Indian name mean?

 Did you choose a name for yourself?  Great!  This is the name you will go by throughout the rest of the lesson.  



Module Three-The Indian Removal Act of 1830

     Follow the following link to learn about the Indian Removal Act of 1830.  Make sure you take notes!

Questions to Consider:

  1. What were some of the events that led up to the Indian Removal Act?
  2. After the Indian Removal Act, what did the Supreme Court rule on it?
  3. What was the military roundupthat occurred shortly after the Indian Removal Act?

 Did you learn anything new? Great!  You can now proveed to Module Four!


Module Four- Obstacles Along the Trail

     LAST MODULE!!!  Click on each of the following links to learn about the conditions that Native Americans faced along the Trail of Tears.  Be sure to take good notes, as you will need them when writing your essay.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What kind of food could you find consistently along the Trail to eat?
  2. What were the weather conditions that Indians faced along the trail?
  3. What kind of disease ravaged the Indian tribes on the Trail and approximately how many Indians died as a result of it?
  4. According to the actual account (linked below), what was the morale of Native Americans on the trail?


Are you finished with all modules? Great! You may begin your essay!  Write a 1-2 page essay, pretending to be a Native American who has been forced to relocate to the Oklahoma Territory because of the Indian Removal Act.  Don't forget to include your Indian name and its meaning, the tribe you belong to, how you felt when you heard about the Indian Removal Act, and your struggle along the Trail of Tears.  You should use information from the links provided, as well as your imagination!!! Below is a list of things that MUST be included in the essay:

A.) Information from links:

  • What is your Indian name, and what is its meaning?
  • What tribe do you belong to?  Give me some background information on your tribe, including what region of the country they are native to, beliefs, customs, rituals, clothing, shelter, roles of men, women, and children, etc..
  • What was the Indian Removal Act?  Which President pushed for it to pass?  What did the Supreme Court rule about the Act, and how did the President respond?
  • What were some of the challenges you faced along the Trail?


B.) Examples of creative thinking topics to address:

  • how you felt when you heard about the Indian Removal Act?
  • what was the hardest part of the trail for you?
  • did anyone you know (family or friends) die along the trail (& how)?

Use your imagination when writing this essay!

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