Read Kansas! Middle School - M-7 Indian Removal to the Great American Desert
Explorer Stephen Long described the lands west of the Mississippi River as the "Great American Desert." This description was the basis for Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830. Many American Indian tribes from the eastern United States were removed to reservations in this region. There were differing opinions expressed on the issue of Indian removal. Middle school students will read some of these opinions as expressed in speeches and will determine the main ideas from those speeches. These activities are designed to be done over three days but can be adjusted according to classroom needs.
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Kansas History Standards:
- Benchmark 1, Indicator 3: The student explains how Long’s classification of Kansas as the “Great American Desert” influenced later U.S. government policy on American Indian relocation.
- Benchmark 4, Indicator 10: The student identifies the topic, main idea(s), supporting details, and theme(s) in text across the content areas from a variety of sources in appropriate-level texts.
- Benchmark 4, Indicator 15: The student distinguishes between fact and opinion, and recognizes propaganda (e.g., advertising, media, politics, warfare), bias, and stereotypes in various types of appropriate-level texts.
Kansas College and Career Ready Standards:
- RI.7.5: The student analyzes the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.
- RH.6-8.6: The student identifies aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).