Historical Scene Investigations

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How did American policies of assimilation and removal of Native People change over time?

The case

Jamestown map

Throughout the 1800s American Policy toward the Native Americans shifted back and forth between assimilation and removal. The Native American response shifted between acceptance to armed resistance.

Your job is to examine and analyze evidence representing four differing opinions regarding Native People's rights during the nineteenth century. Next, you will take the role of one of the four opinions regarding the policies of assimilation and removal and then present your findings using propaganda.

 

Becoming a detective

To find out why the English settlers came to Jamestown in the first place, you'll be doing the following:

Investigating the evidence

Blood on the RiverYou will be reading Blood on the River, a work of historical fiction by Elisa Carbone. As you read, record notes about the character and the aspect of daily life you have been assigned to investigate, using your Investigation Organizer. You will also be using other online sources for this investigation.

 

Searching for clues

Examine the sources listed at the top left. For each of the two documents, answer these questions:

  • What type of document is this?
  • Who authored the document?
  • When was the document authored?
  • Who was the audience for this document?
  • Why was it created?

For each of the two sets of artifacts, answer these questions:

  • What was the artifact used for?
  • What was it made of?
  • How might the interaction between English colonists and Native Americans affect the use or design of this artifact?

Cracking the case

Compare your findings with a partner who is investigating the same daily life topic for the other group (for instance, if you are researching English tools, your partner is researching Indian tools). Together, you will decide how this area of life changed because of the interaction between the two groups.

You will then present your findings, as your historical character, in a class "living museum."

 

To learn more

Explore the Virtual Jamestown project, which has teaching materials, primary source documents, and a 3D recreation of a Paspahegh village.

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