Native American Unit

Process for Day 5 - You Come Bearing Gifts


Exploratory Introduction

Essential Questions

1. How do different systems address the production of goods?

2. How are scarce resources distributed in different types of economic systems?

3. How do different economies control the means of production and distribution of goods and services?

Process Steps

Step 1 - Review the vocabulary for this lesson.

Step 2 - With your reading buddy, read the first three sections of the attached article about the bartering system.

Step 3 - Together, brainstorm ideas about what items Native Americans might have bartered to get what they needed. Write your ideas down on a small poster board.

Step 4 - Watch the attached YouTube video about bartering

Step 5 - In your journal, write at least 2 paragraphs about the benefits and drawbacks of the bartering system based on what you have read in the article and seen in the video.


Step 6 - Using the resources here and your own research, determine your tribe's primary item or items used for bartering.

Step 7 - Create a PowerPoint presentation with a minimum of 5 slides that will serve as a commercial for your item. Pretend you will use this commercial to convince the tribe you will be visiting that your item is something they want.

Step 8 - Send your PowerPoint presentation to your teacher's email address.


Step 9 - In class, you will play the Barter Game. Each student will have brought in an item from home that they are willing to trade in order to gain another item from a fellow classmate.

Step 10 - You will draw numbers to see who gets first choice for bartering. The first person will attempt to barter his or her item for another item he or she desires.

Step 11 - Each student will have three attempts at bartering his or her item. If no deal can be made, the item stays with the original owner unless it is bartered for during another student's turn.

Step 12 - In your journal, reflect on the in-class activity. In at least 2 paragraphs, mention whether you are happy with the trade you made or if you did not get what you want.

Step 13 - In groups of five, discuss how bartering could become relevant again in today's economy. Be prepared for one person from the group to present your group's ideas with the rest of the class.


Web Link
  • Cherokee Indians
    Description: Discusses various aspects of the Cherokee tribe's economy.

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Web Link

Description: Video on bartering.

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  • Iroqois Indians
    Description: Discusses various aspects of the Iroquois tribe's economy.

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  • Seneca Indians
    Description: Discusses various aspects of the Seneca tribe's economy.

Web Link
  • Seneca Indians
    Description: Discusses various aspects of the Shawnee tribe's economy.

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