Subjects:
American Indian Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, U.S. History, World History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Grades:
9, 10, 11, 12
Tags:
African American History, Great Depression, History, Mexican American History, Minority Rights, Native Americans
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Text/HTML

Education Standards

Native Americans in the Great Depression

Overview

Overview / Description: 
This unit will examine the experience of Native Americans during the Great Depression in the United States. It will integrate comparisons with the experiences of other minority groups as well as exposing students to primary source documents related to the government policies which were adopted toward Native Americans during the time. 

Guiding Questions: 

  • What were the US government’s policies toward Native Americans leading up to the Great Depression? Were they fair? 
  • What was FDR’s response to the struggles of Native Americans during the Great Depression? 
  • What was the Native American experience like during the Great Depression and how did it compare to other minority groups? 

Learning goals/objectives:    

Analyze primary and secondary sources related to the experience of Native Americans during the Great Depression. Summarize the experiences of Native Americans during the Great Depression. 

Days 1-3

Days 1-3

Read the following article and create a timeline of the most important dates in Native American history. https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/guides/zshwv9q/revision/1

 

Take the test at the end. Screenshot your results and submit them to your teacher.

 

Afterwards: Write three paragraphs either agreeing or disagreeing with the statement: “Native Americans have been treated unfairly by the US government and its’ people.” Each paragraph should include at least three pieces of evidence from the reading to support your claim.

 

SS.Inq4.b.h Examine a claim’s strengths and weaknesses, including an evaluation of supporting evidence, taking into consideration cultural, social, economic, political, geographic, and historic influences that inform these perspectives  

Days 1-3

Read the following article and create a timeline of the most important dates in Native American history. https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/guides/zshwv9q/revision/1

 

Take the test at the end. Screenshot your results and submit them to your teacher.

 

Afterwards: Write three paragraphs either agreeing or disagreeing with the statement: “Native Americans have been treated unfairly by the US government and its’ people.” Each paragraph should include at least three pieces of evidence from the reading to support your claim.

Days 4-5

Days 4-5

Read this article:

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/archive/franklin-delano-roosevelt-a-new-deal-for-indians-_qYfmPCadU20hgAp7s0caw/

 

As a class or small group, answer the following questions:

  1. Who wrote this document? What is their perspective on the Native American experience?

  2. How could the author’s point of view have affected the style of writing and content?

  3. Whose voices are left out of this source?

  4. For whom was this document intended?

 

(Individual) as you read:

  1. According to the source, how did the Great Depression impact the Navajo people? Why?

  2. From the perspective of this author, was FDR and John Collier’s response to the Navajo Nation’s Great Depression struggles appropriately responsive to their true needs? Why or why not?

  3. According to the source, what was the “Indian New Deal?” Was it completely helpful for Native Americans?

  4. Summarize what you learned in this article in one short paragraph.

 

Extension Activity: Do some additional research on the Wheeler-Howard Act, the Indian Reorganization Act, and the Dawes Act. Using what you find, what is your perspective on the treatment of Native American people? Why? (Support your claims using evidence from your research.)


 

SS.Hist4.b.h Analyze how the intended audience influences a primary or secondary source

SS.Hist4.d.m Explain how the POV of the author can influence the meaning of a primary or secondary source.

SS.Inq3.b.h Support claim with evidence using sources from multiple perspectives and mediums (electronic, digital, print, and other mass media).

Days 4-5

Read this article:

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/archive/franklin-delano-roosevelt-a-new-deal-for-indians-_qYfmPCadU20hgAp7s0caw/

 

As a class or small group, answer the following questions:

  1. Who wrote this document? What is their perspective on the Native American experience?

  2. How could the author’s point of view have affected the style of writing and content?

  3. Whose voices are left out of this source?

  4. For whom was this document intended?

 

(Individual) as you read:

  1. According to the source, how did the Great Depression impact the Navajo people? Why?

  2. From the perspective of this author, was FDR and John Collier’s response to the Navajo Nation’s Great Depression struggles appropriately responsive to their true needs? Why or why not?

  3. According to the source, what was the “Indian New Deal?” Was it completely helpful for Native Americans?

  4. Summarize what you learned in this article in one short paragraph.

 

Extension Activity: Do some additional research on the Wheeler-Howard Act, the Indian Reorganization Act, and the Dawes Act. Using what you find, what is your perspective on the treatment of Native American people? Why? (Support your claims using evidence from your research.)

Days 6-9

Days 6-9

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/era.cfm?eraID=14&smtID=3

Divide the class into three different groups. Each group will be creating a venn-diagram which compares and contrasts the experience of Native Americans with another group.

 

Group 1: Read the following articles and create a Venn-Diagram comparing and contrasting the experience/outcomes/impact of the Great Depression on Americans as a whole and that of Native Americans.

 

Group 2:  Read the following articles and create a Venn-Diagram comparing and contrasting the experience/outcomes/impact of the Great Depression on African Americans and Native Americans.

 

Group 3:  Read the following articles and create a Venn-Diagram comparing and contrasting the experience/outcomes/impact of the Great Depression on Mexican Americans and Native Americans.

 

After each group has read their articles and created their graphic organizers, each group should present their findings to the class. They should create a conclusion about which group suffered more during the Great Depression, supporting their conclusions with evidence from the readings.

 

SS.Inq1.a.h Frame researchable, complex, and open-ended questions, integrating multiple social studies strands that call for investigation

SS.Inq3.a.h Develop a defensible claim to provide focus for an inquiry that is based upon the analysis of sources.

SS.Inq3.b.h Support claim with evidence using sources from multiple perspectives and mediums (electronic, digital, print, and other mass media).

SS.Inq4.a.e Communicate conclusions

Days 6-9

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/era.cfm?eraID=14&smtID=3

Divide the class into three different groups. Each group will be creating a venn-diagram which compares and contrasts the experience of Native Americans with another group.

 

Group 1: Read the following articles and create a Venn-Diagram comparing and contrasting the experience/outcomes/impact of the Great Depression on Americans as a whole and that of Native Americans.

 

Group 2:  Read the following articles and create a Venn-Diagram comparing and contrasting the experience/outcomes/impact of the Great Depression on African Americans and Native Americans.

 

Group 3:  Read the following articles and create a Venn-Diagram comparing and contrasting the experience/outcomes/impact of the Great Depression on Mexican Americans and Native Americans.

 

After each group has read their articles and created their graphic organizers, each group should present their findings to the class. They should create a conclusion about which group suffered more during the Great Depression, supporting their conclusions with evidence from the readings.

Days 10-11

Days 10-11

 

Use the primary source document worksheet: https://www.archives.gov/files/education/lessons/worksheets/written_document_analysis_worksheet.pdf to analyze the two following documents:

 

“A New Deal for Native Americans” by John Collier, 1934 http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=716

 

“A New Deal for Native Americans” by The Wheeler-Howard (Indian Reorganization) Act, 1934 http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=723

 

Based on your understanding of these two documents, summarize the US policy toward Native Americans during the Great Depression. How do you think this has affected them today?

 

Use these two websites to help you understand the current status of American Indians:

 

SS.Inq3.b.h Support claim with evidence using sources from multiple perspectives and mediums (electronic, digital, print, and other mass media).

SS.Inq4.a.e Communicate conclusions

SS.Hist3.b.h Evaluate historical perspectives to create arguments with evidence concerning current events.

SS.Hist3.b.m Apply historical perspectives to describe differing viewpoints of current events.

 

Days 10-11

 

Use the primary source document worksheet: https://www.archives.gov/files/education/lessons/worksheets/written_document_analysis_worksheet.pdf to analyze the two following documents:

 

“A New Deal for Native Americans” by John Collier, 1934 http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=716

 

“A New Deal for Native Americans” by The Wheeler-Howard (Indian Reorganization) Act, 1934 http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=723

 

Based on your understanding of these two documents, summarize the US policy toward Native Americans during the Great Depression. How do you think this has affected them today?

 

Use these two websites to help you understand the current status of American Indians: