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Cherokee Unit- Lesson 1: Cherokee Religion and Culture

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Keywords: Cherokee, Religion, Culture, Annotation
Subject(s): Information Skills, Art, Social Studies, Social Skills, Technology, History, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grades 7 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Glade Creek Elementary School, Ennice, NC
Planned By: Elizabeth McClure
Original Author: Elizabeth McClure, Ennice

Essential Questions:
How did the beliefs, practice and traditions of the Cherokee people impact North Carolina?
How did the interactions between Europeans and Native Americans impact each group?

Session Zero (Needed before lesson begins):
Students will need edmodo login/password and teacher will need to have their class setup and assignments posted.
Students will need to know how to contribute to a Google Doc.
Students will need to understand text annotation guidelines.
Students will need to download Popplet app.
Students will need EdPuzzle login for extension activity.

Lesson Plan Outline
1. (Class will respond to Bellwork question on Edmodo.) Bellwork- Why is it important to learn about the culture and remains of Native Americans and other historical groups.
2. Discuss bellwork as class.
What do we know about Native Americans?
What do you know about Native American groups in NC?
How have Native American groups impacted Alleghany County?
What do you know about the Cherokee people?

Main Course:
1. Watch- “Native Americans in Film” (approximately 2 min- available on Discovery Education)
2. Create a collaborative list on a shared Google Doc: Based on the clip and your experience, what stereotypes have been associated with Native Americans in today’s media (movies, books, tv…)?
3. Discuss list as a class. How do you think these stereotypes differ from actuality.
4. Read/Annotate- “Cherokee Religion.” This article can be sent to students as Google Doc. Begin as a group. Read Introduction, Cherokee View of the World and Balance in the Environment together. Make annotations as a group on these three sections. Then students will rename/save the document and finish reading/annotating the document in small groups (3-4 students). Each student will be required to annotate on their own document.
5. Class Discussion of the article:
Describe ways in which Cherokees showed they were a part of their environment.
How would a loss in the balance of nature cause problems?
How does the story “The Origin of Disease and Medicine” exhibit the belief in the balance of nature?
How do you think the beliefs of the Cherokee were a reflection of the way they lived?
Why do you think the Europeans had a difficult time understanding the beliefs and views of the Cherokee and other Native American cultures.
How might that have influenced the relationship between the Europeans and Native Americans in the early days of exploration and settlement of what is now the United States?

Dessert (assessment, deliverables, etc.):
1. Students will collaborate in pairs to create a Popplet comparing and contrasting Native American and European religious beliefs/traditions.
2. Students will will present popplets to the class.

Extension and Enrichment:
Kahoot Vocabulary Review, “Native American Religion” EdPuzzle

Tier 1:- Deliberate pairing/grouping. Focus on vocabulary (utilize Kahoot as a review tool)
Tier 2:-Deliberate pairing/grouping. View EdPuzzle using “Native American Religion” (available on Discovery Education).
Tier 3: Deliberate pairing/grouping. Incorporate additional religions/cultures that have had an impact on NC into Popplet (African Slaves, Hmong, Latino, Judiasm…)

Cherokee Religion Article; http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-twoworlds/1839

Students need access to devices (iPads work great for this).
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This lesson flows seamlessly between Social Studies and ELA classes. Students will learn Social Studies concepts and objectives while using and practicing literacy skills (annotation, non-fiction reading comprehension...)
Kahoot Vocabulary Review, “Native American Religion” EdPuzzle
Links: Cherokee Religion Article
Materials: Whiteboards, Mobile Labs, Projectors, Projector Screens, Electronics, Reading, Literacy, Writing, Social Studies, Keyboarding, Web Page, Screen Capture, Internet Services, Integrating Technology
Other Items: 15 iPad 4, $297.99 each, total of $4469.85