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This product is a great way to teach your kids about the Trail of Tears and get them thinking critically about events from history.
This product includes a 2 page informational passage about the Trail of Tears as well as two planning sheets to help students prepare for a class debate.
I use this product in my classroom as follows:
Day 1: I introduce the Trail of Tears to my students through the informational passage. I have also used videos/paintings in the past.
After discussing the Trail of Tears, I break the students into groups. I usually do this randomly by having the students pick colored paper out of a bag. The students will either be a Cherokee or Andrew Jackson. Once the students are in groups, I allow them to use the planning pages to prepare for a class debate. The Cherokee's goal is to prove that they should be able to stay on their land. The goal of the Andrew Jackson group is to prove that the Cherokee should leave.
Day 2: I usually need to give the students a bit more planning time at the beginning of class. Many times this is just so that students can prepare who they would like their main speakers to be. Then, we have our debate! I have provided an outline of how I run the debate in my classroom.
My class always loves this lesson and learns a lot from it. I hope your class loves it too!
This product is part of a full westward expansion unit. Find the complete unit (10 lessons plus an end of unit assessment) here: