Lesson Plan

Borders within the United States: Indian Boarding Schools and Assimilation

Native American Nations ... sovereign entities or removable tribes? A thought-provoking lesson explores the relationship between Native American tribes and the United States, including forced assimilation and removal from their ancestral lands. Scholars read primary sources, such as the Dawes Act, and participate in group discussion to understand how Native American children were forced to assimilate and attend boarding schools. Historians also write a letter from the perspective of a Native American student to explore the hardships they faced. 

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Compare and contrast the United States' treatment of Mexican and Native Americans concerning border disputes
  • Guide a group discussion on ways pupils may have felt about the requirement to assimilate into mainstream culture 
Classroom Considerations
  • Part two of a three-part series, Becoming US - Borderlands unit
  • The resource addresses the tragedies that befell Native Americans
  • Lesson includes additional exit activities to complete if time allows 
  • None
Common Core