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Negotiating Nations

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Summary

Students will analyze primary source documents in order to describe the rights and limitations of Native American tribal sovereignty. Students will summarize information from an official government Web site.

Coin Type(s)

  • Dollar

Coin Program(s)

  • Native American $1 Coin

Objectives

  • Students will analyze primary source documents in order to describe the rights and limitations of Native American tribal sovereignty.
  • Students will summarize information from an official government Web site.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Seventh grade
  • Eighth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Five
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Geography and inhabitants of the 13 Colonies (during the American Revolution)
  • Summarizing information
  • Exit slips 

Terms and Concepts

  • Native American $1 Coin
  • Reverse (back)
  • Obverse (front)
  • Tribe/Tribal
  • Treaty
  • Tribal sovereignty
  • Negotiation
  • Constitution
  • Bylaws
  • Preamble 

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector or equivalent classroom technology
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • “2013 Native American $1 Coin” page
    • “United States in 1778” map
    • “Decoding the Treaty” worksheet (2 pages)
    • “Asking Questions” page
    • “Primary Source Study” worksheets (2 pages)
  • Copies of the following:
    • “Decoding the Treaty” worksheet (2 pages)
    • “Exit Slip” worksheet
    • “Frequently Asked Questions” page
    • “Summarizing It All” worksheet
    • “Summarizing It All Answer Key”
    • “Primary Source Study” worksheets (2 pages)
    • “Primary Source Study Answer Key”
    • “Tribal Sovereignty Briefing” worksheet
    • “Tribal Sovereignty Briefing Rubric”
    • “Tribal Sovereignty Briefing Answer Key”
  • Dictionaries
  • Highlighters
  • Chart paper
  • Markers 

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • “2013 Native American $1 Coin” page
    • “United States in 1778” map
    • “Decoding the Treaty” worksheet (2 pages)
    • “Asking Questions” page
    • “Primary Source Study” worksheets (2 pages)
  • Make copies of the following:
    • “Decoding the Treaty” worksheet (2 pages, 1 each per student)
    • “Exit Slip” worksheet (1 half sheet per student)
    • “Frequently Asked Questions” page (1 question per pair of students)
    • “Summarizing It All” worksheet (1 per pair of students)
    • “Summarizing It All Answer Key” (1 for teacher)
    • “Primary Source Study” worksheets (2 pages, 1 each per student)
    • “Primary Source Study Answer Key” (1 for teacher)
    • “Tribal Sovereignty Briefing” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Tribal Sovereignty Briefing Rubric” (1 half sheet per student)
    • “Tribal Sovereignty Briefing Answer Key” (1 for teacher)
  • Read the following:
  • Prepare the “Asking Questions” chart for Session 2.
  • On video, record student presentations in Session 5 for use by other classes in the future (optional). 

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/407.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Describe the Native American $1 Coin Program for background information. The program is described at www.usmint.gov/kids/coinNews/nativeAmerican/.
  2. Display the “2013 Native American $1 Coin” overhead transparency. Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the “reverse” and “obverse” is another name for the front. With the students, examine the coin design and identify the 2013 theme of “Treaty with the Delawares of 1778.” After declaring independence, the United States signed its first formal treaty with an Indian tribe, the Delawares, at Fort Pitt, Pa. (now Pittsburgh), on September 17, 1778.
  3. Brainstorm with the students why the animals depicted on the coin might have been so important to the American Indians. Record their responses on chart paper.
  4. Ask the students to explain the significance of the thirteen stars in the coin design. Ask the students what events were taking place during 1778. Record student responses on chart paper.
  5. Display and examine the “United States in 1778” map with the students. On the map, point out the highlighted areas of Pittsburgh and Detroit, as well as the lands of the Delaware Nation. Tell the students that the United States wanted to attack the British fort in Detroit.
  6. Ask the students how the geographic location of Fort Detroit was strategic for both the Americans and the British during the American Revolution. (Possible student responses: for Americans to gain control of waterways; for prevention of British-allied Native Americans attacking American settlers along the frontier; for American troops to take control of a British military stronghold in the west; to prevent British supplies and troops in Canada from attacking from the west.)
  7. Discuss with the students why the United States would need to negotiate an agreement with the Native Americans who lived in the region. Record student responses on chart paper.
  8. Ask the students to define the term “treaty.” Facilitate a discussion to assist students in understanding that a treaty is a formal agreement between two or more nations or political entities. Point out that in most treaties, both sides gain something and give up something the other group wants. Record the term “treaty” and the definition on chart paper.
  9. Explain to the students that they will examine the Delaware Treaty of 1778, a primary source document, in order to better understand the agreement between the United States government and the Delaware Nation.
  10. Distribute copies of the “Decoding the Treaty” worksheet. Explain to students they will be working in groups to complete an activity in which they will become the experts on one article of the treaty. They will also write a summary in their own words and share the information with the class.
  11. Display the “Decoding the Treaty” overhead transparency and read Article I of the treaty as a class. Model for students how to summarize the article.
  12. Divide the class into five groups and assign each group one article of the treaty. Have each group share their summaries with the class and record their summary on the “Decoding the Treaty” overhead transparency or chart paper. Have the students record each group’s summary on their “Decoding the Treaty” worksheet.
  13. Facilitate a class discussion regarding the exchange that took place between the two nations. Lead the students to conclude that by negotiating a treaty with the Delaware Nation, the government acknowledged the Delaware Nation’s status as a domestic dependent nation. The Delaware Nation’s status as a domestic dependent nation acknowledged the Delaware Nation’s right to self-government. Today we call this “tribal sovereignty.”
  14. Distribute the “Exit Slip” worksheet to the students and have each of them fill it out. Collect the exit slips as the students are dismissed from class.

Session 2

  1. Display the “2013 Native American $1 Coin” overhead transparency. Review with the students the material covered in the previous session, including the information on the chart paper and the exit slips.
  2. Tell the students they will be working with a partner to learn about American Indian tribal sovereignty, which the United States government established by negotiating treaties with tribal governments. They will be reading and summarizing information from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, housed within the Department of the Interior, on its official government Web site.
  3. Display the “Asking Questions” transparency and chart paper. Review the questions with the students. Divide the class into pairs and assign each pair one question and one of the 12 reading sections.
  4. Each pair of students will become the experts for their assigned question. Have the students work together to briefly summarize their answer and share their summaries with the class. Record the summary on the chart paper for later reference.
  5. Divide the class into pairs and distribute copies of the “Summarizing It All” worksheet and the “Frequently Asked Questions” page to each pair.
  6. Read the first question aloud and model for the students how to complete the “Summarizing It All” worksheet.
  7. Have the students share their summaries with the class and record the student summaries on chart paper. Display the completed “Asking Questions” chart in the room for future reference.
  8. Write the term “tribal sovereignty” on chart paper and guide students in the creation of a working definition of the term.
  9. Tell the students that, in Session 3, they will examine the current Delaware Tribe of Indians Constitution and Bylaws to better understand how tribal sovereignty applies to the Delaware Nation in modern times.

Session 3

  1. Display the “2013 Native American $1 Coin” overhead transparency. Review with the students the material covered in the previous sessions.
  2. Explain to the students that they will be examining a primary source document (an excerpt from the Delaware Tribe of Indians Constitution and Bylaws from 2008) to help them refine their understanding of tribal sovereignty. Remind the students that not all primary source documents are old; primary source documents can also be from present times.
  3. Write the term “constitution” on chart paper and facilitate a class discussion to define the term. If necessary, tell students that most governments have a written plan of government, called a constitution. The nation to nation relationship between the Delaware Nation and the United States government grants the Delaware Nation sovereignty, which means the Delaware Nation has the power to set up a constitution for self-government.
  4. Distribute copies of the “Primary Source Study” worksheet to the students. Review the directions.
  5. As a class, examine the “Primary Source Study” worksheet. Lead a class discussion about the powers and limitations of tribal sovereignty. Display the “Primary Source Study” overhead transparency and model how to complete the graphic organizer by completing the Preamble through Article IV sections of the Constitution. If necessary, discuss the purpose of preambles with the students and identify this constitution’s similarities to the United States Constitution.
  6. Have the students work with a partner to complete Article V “Powers of the Tribal Council” on their “Primary Source Study” worksheet. Remind the students they need to summarize the powers and limitations of tribal sovereignty. Have dictionaries and highlighters available for student use.
  7. Have the students report their summarized findings to the class as the teacher records the responses on the “Primary Source Study” transparency.
  8. In small groups, have the students discuss and summarize the powers and limitations of tribal sovereignty.
  9. Tell the students that, in Session 4, they will use the information about the significance of the Delaware Treaty of 1778, tribal sovereignty and tribal self-governance to create a Congressional briefing for a freshman Senator who wants to be well-informed before attending a Congressional hearing on tribal sovereignty. The students will work in small groups to create a presentation for the Senator.

Session 4

  1. Display the “2013 Native American $1 Coin” overhead transparency. Review with the students the material covered in the previous sessions, including the definitions of “treaty” and “tribal sovereignty” and their summaries of the powers and limitations of tribal sovereignty.
  2. Explain to the students that they will work in small groups, assuming the role of Congressional interns to a freshman member of the Senate. Tell the students that the Senator in this scenario is scheduled to attend a hearing on the topic of tribal sovereignty. The Senator has requested a briefing from your group on tribal sovereignty in order to be well-informed at the hearing. The Senator has given your group a list of questions that must be addressed in your briefing.
  3. Tell the students their briefings may be in the form of a written report or slide show. All groups will present their information to the class.
  4. Distribute a copy of the “Sovereignty Briefing Rubric” to each student. As a class, review the questions that must be addressed in their briefing and attend to any questions. Tell the students their briefing should contain additional information but it must directly address the questions listed in the rubric.
  5. Divide the class into groups of two to five students and allow the student groups time to create their briefing.

Session 5

  1. Have the students present their briefing to the class.
  2. After all student groups have presented their briefings, have the class determine which presentation was the most effective and why.
  3. Have the group with the most effective presentation visit another United States history class to give their presentation to other students.
  4. Complete the “Sovereignty Briefing Rubric.”

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Have students of various reading abilities work in the same groups.
  • Allow the use of a scribe.
  • Allow students to type or record their answers on a separate piece of paper.
  • Copy and enlarge the worksheets as needed. 

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have the students complete sections VI to XII of the Delaware Constitution.
  • Have the students identify the principles of government found in the Delaware Tribe Constitution.
  • Have the students compare the Delaware Tribe Constitution and the United States Constitution using a graphic organizer of their choice. 

Evaluate the students’ worksheets and final products for their understanding of the lesson objectives. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.7 Language
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.7.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.
    • Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.
    • Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.
  • L.7.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt).
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.7 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.7.1. Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RI.7.2. Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • RI.7.3. Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.8 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 7
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.8.1. Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RI.8.2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • RI.8.3. Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.