Communicating Change

Summary

Students will describe the impact the Sequoyah's Syllabary had on the Cherokee people. Students will apply the concept of change to another important invention in the realm of communication.

Coin Type(s)

  • Dollar

Coin Program(s)

  • Native American $1 Coins

Objectives

  • Students will describe the impact that the introduction and expanded use of the Cherokee Syllabary had on Cherokee people.
  • Students will describe changes caused by the spread of literacy among Cherokee people in terms of cause and effect.
  • Students will apply the concept of change to the realm of communication

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts

Grades

  • 4th
  • 5th
  • 6th

Class Time

  • Sessions: Three
  • 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 communication and change over time.

Terms and Concepts

  • Native American $1 Coin
  • Reverse (back)
  • Obverse (front)
  • Cherokee Syllabary
  • Literacy
  • Communication
  • Cause and Effect

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector or other classroom technology (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or equivalent) of the following:
  • Copies of the following:
    • "Cherokee Syllabary: Before and After" Worksheet
    • "Charting the Effects of Change" Worksheet
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that gives information about Sequoyah and the Cherokee Syllabary.
  • Age-appropriate materials for partner research that provide additional historic information about the spread of literacy among Cherokee people, such as websites, videos, textbooks, reference materials and other texts.
  • Chart paper
  • Sticky notes
  • Lined paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Construction paper
  • Markers, pencils, crayons
  • Internet access (optional

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or equivalent) of the following:
  • Make copies of the following:
    • "Cherokee Syllabary: Before and After" Worksheet
    • "Charting the Effects of Change" Worksheet
  • Locate age appropriate texts that provide information about Sequoyah and the Cherokee Syllabary.
  • Locate materials for partner research that provide additional historical information about the spread of literacy among the Cherokee people after Sequoyah introduced the syllabary.
  • Prepare sticky notes and chart paper for brainstorming session
  • Prepare sheets of lined paper and construction paper for the cause and effect coin assignment 

Worksheets

Lesson Steps

Sessions 1 and 2

  1. Describe the Native American $1 Coin Program for background information. Find information about the program at www.usmint.gov/kids/coinNews/nativeAmerican/
  2. Display the "2017 Native American $1 Coin Reverse" overhead transparency (or equivalent). Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the "reverse" and "obverse" is another word for the front of the coin.
  3. Ask the students to examine the coin's reverse image and tell you what they see. Explain to the students that the coin commemorates Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee Syllabary.
  4. Introduce the students to the selected text about Sequoyah and the Cherokee Syllabary. 
  5. Read the text aloud. After reading, ask the students to briefly share with a partner why they think the syllabary was so important to the Cherokee people.
  6. Show the students the Cherokee Syllabary. Explain to the students why the syllabary was so important to the Cherokee people. Remind them that before Sequoyah invented and introduced his syllabary, there was no way to write words in the Cherokee language. They could only communicate orally. 
  7. Display the "Cherokee Syllabary: Before and After" worksheet and encourage the students to think about what it was like for the Cherokee people before and after they learned to use the Cherokee Syllabary to write in their language. Have the students work in pairs or small groups to brainstorm and record ideas on sticky notes. After brainstorming, ask each pair or group to share their ideas and stick the notes on the main chart.
  8. Distribute the "Cherokee Syllabary: Before and After" worksheet. As a review, have the students recall and note the most important information gathered in the previous session about Cherokee life before and after the syllabary was introduced. 
  9. Explain to the students that they will be researching additional information about the importance of the spread of literacy among the Cherokee people. Give the students time to work with partners using text and/or internet resources. Ask the students to record their notes on the "Cherokee Syllabary: Before and After" worksheet. 
  10. After providing time for research, ask the pairs to share their findings and add any new information to the class chart, as appropriate.
  11. Discuss the terms "cause and effect." If necessary, tell the students "cause" is why something happens and "effect" is what happens as a result. Discuss the meanings of these words using simple classroom examples, such as:
    • What are the effects of the fire alarm sounding?
    • What are the effects of rainy weather?
    • What was the cause of extra recess?
    • What was the cause of extra homework?
  12. Ask the students to shift their thinking about Cherokee life before and after the syllabary to focus on cause and effect. What was the cause of the change? What were the effects? Discuss these ideas as a class.
  13. Give each student a sheet of lined paper. Have them write their name at the top and title the page "Cause and Effect Coin." Below the title, have them create a circle to fill the sheet.
  14. Tell students that within the circle, they will write a paragraph based on the following prompt and gathered information: If the spread of the Cherokee Syllabary was the cause of change, what were the effects of this change?
  15. Have the students cut out the coin circles and glue them on construction paper, then ask them to share their work with their peers. If time allows, have the students illustrate their paragraphs.
  16. Display the coins in the classroom.
  17. Explain to the students that in the next session, they will be applying their understanding of cause and effects to another invention that led to significant cultural/lifestyle change.

Session 3

  1. Display the "2017 Native American $1 Coin Reverse" page. Review with the students the charts and material covered in the previous sessions, particularly the importance of the syllabary to the Cherokee people, and the causes and effects of the change related to the spread of its use.
  2. Ask the students to brainstorm other major discoveries or inventions in the area of communications that caused significant cultural change. Create a list on chart paper. Ideas may include the printing press, typewriter, telephone, mobile phone, computer.
  3. Distribute and explain the "Charting the Effects of Change" worksheet. Ask pairs or small groups of students to each choose a different idea from the chart and identify the effects of this new discovery or invention, using the worksheet.
  4. Have the students present their ideas to the class

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Have students create a multi-media presentation for their Charting the Effects of Change exercise.
  • Allow students to work in pairs to create their "Cause and Effect Coin" paragraph

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Explore other U.S. Mint lesson plans relating to communication, including Talk to Me
  • Explore other U.S. Mint lesson plans relating to cause and effect, including Because of the Horse and Fast Facts.
  • Have students research, write about, and share other major changes that affected the Native Americans using the cause and effect framework.

Assess

  • Take anecdotal notes about the students' participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the students' worksheets for understanding of the lesson objectives.

Common Core Standards

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.2 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Text types and Purposes
Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2. Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

National Standards

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.