Connecting Educators with Digital Library of Georgia Resources
Prototype Lesson Plan


Elements of Plan


Essential Questions for Discussion or Research
Background Notes QCC/GPS Performance Standards
Objectives Procedures
Resources and Materials Needed


Title: The Cherokee in Georgia: What do You Think?
Background Notes:

The history of the Cherokees in Georgia during the years 1827 to 1838 is hallmarked by conflicting interests among disparate groups: the Federal government, the State of Georgia, the white settlers, the missionaries, the gold miners, and the Cherokees. Some of these groups were divided amongst themselves as well. Both primary and interpretive resources are available that can help learners investigate the perspectives involved in this divisive issue that resulted in a great social injustice. This lesson plan presents these resources to users for investigation and reflection. They will then apply the insights they have gained in role-playing projects that demonstrate these perspectives.

The teacher will act as a guide and facilitator, using the textbook reading as a starting point for student reflection and discussion about the current interpretation of this history. By supporting the students’ identification of key players, places, and issues, the teacher scaffolds their existing knowledge and prepares them for the interpretation of the resources. The Georgia Studies QCC includes four standards for information processing that are objectives for this lesson plan. The teacher will guide the students to appropriate resources with which to apply and develop these information processing skills, including the ability to locate ideas in multiple types of sources, distinguishing between primary and secondary sources, analyzing different interpretations of an event, and identifying the point of view or bias of different perspectives.

The activity requires that the students create a mental model of their knowledge as well as model different perspectives on historical events through role-playing. In order to do this, they must not only understand what various participants might have felt but particulars about the historical context that created these feelings. In this way, they also accomplish the QCC content objective of understanding and analyzing the removal of Native Americans from Georgia.


Students will be identify the key players, places, and issues related to the removal of Native Americans from Georgia.

Students will be able to work with multiple informaton resources to analyze multiple perspectives.

Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the content through reflection, discussion, and a choice of projects.

Resources and Materials Needed:

Print and Online Resources Students Will Use for Class Activities

Activity Worksheets
and Rubrics for Downloading

Essential Questions for Discussion or Research:

1. What issues surrounded the removal of the Cherokee from Georgia?
2. What factions were involved and what were their different perspectives on the subject?
3. How do primary source documents provide insight into history?

QCC/GPS Performance Standards: Assessed for Eighth Grade Social Studies: Georgia Studies

23 Topic: Displaced People
Standard: Examines and analyzes the events that led to the removal of the Indians from Georgia.

52 Topic: Information Processing
Standard: Locates ideas in multiple types of sources (e.g., nonprint, specified references, periodicals, newspapers, atlases, yearbooks, government publications, etc.

55 Topic: Information Processing
Standard: Distinguishes between primary and secondary sources and determines respective uses.

56 Topic: Information Processing
Standard: Analyzes interpretations of the same event from multiple types of sources.

57 Topic: Information Processing
Standard: Classifies ideas according to frame of reference, ideology or bias of different writers or speakers.

Note: The QCC is being replaced with the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). See the GPS Standards assessed with this lesson.


1. Preparation: The students will prepare for the lesson by reading the section of the textbook about the Cherokee removal. (Jackson, Stakes, Hepburn, & Hepburn pp. 125-152).

2. Review: The teacher will guide the students through a discussion of the textbook reading.
The goal of the discussion is to have the students generate the key players, places, events, and perspectives that provide the background information for the activities. The teacher serves as facilitator by asking questions and listing answers on the board. Although the discussion should begin broadly, over time categories or themes should be shaped by prompting the students to consider logical groupings. In this way the students are to build a knowledge base to serve as a foundation for the activities. The teacher should review the information to be sure that the students have identified all of the key textbook terms. If all key terms have not been identified, more specific prompting may be required and students should refer to the textbook.

3. Resource Exploration: The students will pair up together on a computer and explore selected resources that represent a variety of perspectives on the subject.

4. Document Analysis: Working in pairs for discussion purposes, each student will complete document analysis worksheets on any of the primary source or historic newspaper documents using the National Archives Document Analysis worksheet.

5. Reflection Activity: Each pair of students will then choose two different players from the list below for discussion. They will identify the key ideas surrounding the topic of the Cherokee removal from these different points of view. A worksheet prompts them to consider the impact that the removal would have on this person, why they might be in favor or not in favor, and what arguments that they might make to support their position. (Download Reflection Activity worksheet)

Wilson Lumpkin
Missionary in a Cherokee village
Gold miner
Major Ridge
John Ross
John Marshall
Andrew Jackson

4. Project: Students will then choose one of the following activities. While it is important to provide them with a choice, the teacher may choose to offer only two alternatives of those listed below.

Students may form two teams to hold a debate. Determine by tossing a coin which team will be for and which will be against the removal of the Cherokees. As part of a planning discussion, each team will prepare points in favor of their position as well as points that they might need to counter the opposition’s arguments. Each team member will record their own copy these points for use in the debate to turn in for a grade. The teams will have a final argument in front of the class. Each team member will make at least one point and counterpoint. The class will review the debates and select a winner by listing and scoring the points and counter-points that each side made. (Download Debate Score Sheet )

Individual students may write a short 3-5 paragraph newspaper editorial for either the Cherokee Phoenix or the Milledgeville Southern Recorder (the newspaper published in the then state capitol in the 1830’s). They must identify their point of view, audience, and opposition. They should make three points appropriate for that point of view and one counter-point to the opposition’s position.

Individual students may develop a drawing, painting, or collage of a flag representing the point of view of one of the seven figures listed above. The flag should visually represent their identity, their role in the issue, and their point of view. The student will present the flag to the class and explain how the flag represents these components.

Two students may choose opposing points of view and negotiate and draft a treaty that outlines how these can be resolved. The treaty should contain one concession for each side and at least three points of agreement.

Assessment / Rubric:

Assessment will take into account the students’ ability to understand the historical context to analyze documents and to generate ideas that support different points of view as well as to package them in convincing ways. Students will receive a total of up to 100 points based on the rubric.


Low Quality

Acceptable to Good Quality

High Quality

Review session

10% of total grade

Student made minimal or no contribution to the review session.

0-3 points

Student contributed 2 to 4 times in the review session.

4-8 points

Student contributed 5 or more times in the review session.

9-10 points

Document Analysis

25% of total grade

Each of 10 completely correct answers is worth 2.5 points. Partial credit may be given.

0-15 points

Each of 10 completely correct answers is worth 2.5 points. Partial credit may be given.

17.5-20 points

Each of 10 completely correct answers is worth 2.5 points. Partial credit may be given.

22.5-25 points

Reflection Activity

15% of total grade

Each of 3 answers is worth 5 points. Partial credit may be given.

0-7 points

Each of 3 answers is worth 5 points. Partial credit may be given.

8-13 points

Each of 3 answers is worth 5 points. Partial credit may be given.

14-15 points


50% of total grade

See Appendix D for Project Rubric.

0-29 points

See Appendix D for Project Rubric.

30-39 points

See Appendix D for Project Rubric.

40-50 points


0-69 points