Native American History Early 1800’s (Tecumseh’s Rebellion)

Week 15: Native American History Early 1800’s (Tecumseh’s Rebellion)


VIEW K – 8: 500 Nations DVD (Episode 6 only)

Note: The subject matter in this DVD may be a bit hard for students in K – 3 to comprehend.  Feel free to skip this lesson for young children.  Also, this DVD is told from the perspective of Native Americans, many of whom were not Christians and thought little of missionaries. Consequently, in a small section in the beginning of this DVD, Christian missionaries are not painted in a positive light. (Native Americans felt that missionaries were trying to “force their religion on them”).  For older students this can be a great topic of discussion.  If you’d like to avoid this section of the video for younger students, you can start Episode 6 at chapter 4 “Tenskwatawa and Prophetstown”.


  • Feeling depressed over the loss of their land, what bad habit did many Native American men develop? (Alcoholism)
  • Who was Tecumseh? (Most powerful Indian leader of his time)
  • What tribe was he from? (Shawnee)
  • What message did he and his brother spread to Native American tribes? (Return to original, Native American ways; Indians must unite against the white man – must keep them out of the land by force; Native American life stood on the brink of disaster, Americans will not stop ‘till they have taken ALL of the land)
  • How did many Native Americans respond to Tecumseh’s message? (were drawn to hear him and follow his ways)
  • What was Prophetstown? (area where Tecumseh preached & Indians gathered to him)
  • Why did some Native Americans disagree with his message? (some wanted to join white society, others thought fighting against the whites was suicide)
  • Who destroyed Prophetstown? (future President William Henry Harrison while Tecumseh was gone)
  • How did the War of 1812 help Tecumseh? (Joined with British forces to push out Americans)
  • How did many Southern Indian tribes interact with Americans? (assimilated into white culture)
  • What did Sequoyah invent? (Cherokee written language)
  • Why did many Americans travel over the Cherokee border? (gold was found)
  • What was the Indian Removal Act? (Policy to move Indians westward to give whites their land)
  • Which President encouraged this policy? (Andrew Jackson)
  • What happened to the Indian tribes forced to move west? (many died along the way)
  • Who was John Ross? (Cherokee Chief)
  • When the Cherokee had to face Indian removal he took the matter to the Supreme Court. What did the Supreme Court say? (that the land belonged to the Cherokee; they should not be removed)
  • What did President Andrew Jackson say to the judges? (they must enforce the law themselves; he would not do it)
  • Who was Major Ridge and what did he do? (Without consent of Cherokee council, gave away Cherokee land in return for assistance traveling west)
  • What happened to Major Ridge? (assassinated)
  • What was the “Trail of Tears”? (Mass exodus of Cherokee people; many died along the way; much suffering and tears)

ACTIVITIES: K – 3:   Look at this picture of Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison:

What do you imagine Tecumseh is saying to William Henry Harrison in this picture? Try to draw your own similar picture of Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison.  Write what you believe his words would have been under the picture.
4 – 8:   Using this website for help: create a chart (posterboard) about the first 12 American Presidents.   Include the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Thumbnail sized Photo (Print from this site:
  3. Years in office
  4. Home state
  5. Land acquired to expand U.S. while in office — Include the following, putting them in the appropriate row for the appropriate president: Louisiana Purchase (1803), Florida (1819), Annexed Texas (1845), Oregon Territory (1846), Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas (officially), Utah, & western Colorado (1848)
  6. Significant events — Include the following, putting them in the appropriate row for the appropriate president: Bill of Rights (1791), Amistad (1839), Lewis & Clark (1805), War of 1812 (1812), Star Spangled Banner (1812), Erie Canal (1826), Eli Whitney & Cotton Gin (1794), and Trail of Tears (1838).
  7. (Optional) Map of U.S. at the time — Using this website for help: print maps of the US and outlying territories during each president’s term.

Copyright April 11th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette


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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Westward Expansion

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