Middle School Unit 1 US History

Fighting for Independence and Framing the Constitution: Revolution and the U.S. Constitution in Indian Country

Historical Era

1776 - 1815: Conflict and Alliance

STI Unit Overview

Level 1

Students will read an article about how the US Constitution's Supremacy and Commerce Clauses set up relationships with Indian nations that is still in effect today. Depending on reading level, students can complete a crossword puzzle and/or complete the study guide.

Level 1 Curriculum 

Level 2

Building on Level 1, this lesson explores the ideals and realities of the enforcement of tribal treaties. Students will complete a graphic organizer that asks them to explain and provide examples of Constitutional ideals, including treaties being the "Supreme law of the land." The Treaty of Greenville (1795) with Northeastern tribes as well as examples of treaties in the Northwest will serve as exemplars regarding the ideal of a treaty agreement and the realities endured by nearly all Indian nations who entered into treaties with the US Government. This level is taught in the context of your Constitution unit when you teach about the structure of the document as well as the ideals contained in the Bill of Rights.

Level 2 Curriculum

Level 3

Students build on their Level 1 and 2 activities by researching issues in their area that pertain to treaty rights. In groups of three, they will write, produce, and release a public service announcement that defends their position on the enforcement of treaty rights.

Level 3 Curriculum 

STI Essential Questions

  1. How does physical geography affect Northwest tribes' culture, economy, and where they choose to settle and trade?
  2. What is the legal status of the tribes who negotiated or who did not enter into United States treaties?

Standards for Social Studies, English Language Arts, Environmental and Sustainability Education, and Social-Emotional Learning

OSPI-Developed Assessments for Social Studies

Unit Developed By

Shana Brown (Yakama descendent)