Welcome to the Wiki page for Era 1, Part 3!

The Mini-institute on this topic will be held on May 12, 2011, at the East Tennessee Historical Society. The purpose of this wiki page is to allow those who attended the opportunity to pool resources and ideas gleaned from that institute. Feel free to post lesson plans, project ideas, or other ways that you have integrated the material or methods learned at this day's sessions into your classroom. What worked, or did not work? What materials have you discovered were most helpful? Or least helpful? What material (photos, documents, videos, etc) do you wish you had more of? And who has found some to recommend?

If you have never used a wiki before, do not worry. Most have not! Just click on the giant pencil icon that says "EDIT" to begin adding your contributions to this project. Do not forget that creating a classroom project based on these institutes, and being observed during the project, can all count towards the completion of your Professional Development Plan (PDP).

Here is a brief selection of Bartolome de las Casas' "Destruction of the Indies", with three horrific images of Spanish atrocities:


Lesson Idea for Introducing Spanish Conquest of South America
Creature Picture Drawing
Explain to students that they will be asked to do something without understanding the purpose until the end of the activity.
Pass out white paper and instruct the students to draw a creature that has all the following characteristics
  • 4 legs
  • 2 arms
  • 2 heads
  • Mostly brown in color with some silver scales in front
  • 9 to 12 feet tall
  • Breathes smoke and fire

Give them 30 to 40 minutes to work on their creature. Have them take some time to look around at the artwork of other students and then reveal that what they are actually drawing is a Spanish conquistador on horseback. I have a picture that I scanned from an old textbook that I show them while we discuss that the scales are armor, the smoke and fire comes from a gun and the legs belong to the horse, while the arms belong to the man. You can find a similar image with a quick Google search. The objective of the lesson is for them to grasp that Native Americans encountering the Spanish for the first time were not stupid. They just did not have all the facts. I usually follow up with a brief introduction to Jared Diamond's theory and watch Guns, Germs and Steel Episode 2 over the next couple of days.
Rebecca Byrd
Sevier County


Anthony Malone and I did the poster project that was discussed a session ago. We team-teach all the 8th grade, so we work together on projects. The project involved assigning the students a topic and having them design a "Wanted" poster for that topic. The students were told to think about what type of person would be interested in their topic. The selections were Wanted: To Go West; Wanted: To Explore New Worlds; Wanted: To Fight for the Union; Wanted: To Fight for the Confederacy; Wanted: To Fight For Liberty. We allowed the students to work in groups of three or four. I've included two of the pictures of finished work. Due to time constraints with our trip to DC, the students only had two days to finish.
Kristie Dean and Anthony Malone
Union County
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Interactive Web Site for 1700s

**I have been using this web site on the late1700's with my students for several years - and I wanted to share it with everyone (and also practice my wikki-ing).

The site is called YOU BE THE HISTORIAN. This is an interactive site where students view items from the late 1700's that were in the Springer family home in Delaware. Each item is a "clue" to discover what life was like for this family. After a verbal discussion of each item you can click the check your answer spot and it will also tell you how each item is used. This site also has a special section for teachers with idea for how to present this activity as well as follow up activity ideas. THIS SITE IS PERFECT FOR THE SMARTBOARD!

If I did this correctly you should be able to click here and be at the site. You Be the Historian - late 1700's
I hope everyone can use this site. Enjoy!
Julia Carter

This post is part of the "and beyond" section - close to Revolutionary War era. While attending History Day 2011 downtown, I made a short video of one of the reenactors. It is hard to hear at times (especially the beginning), but I plan to use it in my classroom to "introduce" the French and Indian war. This way the students can visualize what the soldiers may have looked like. This will not be part of the lesson, but more of a "hook" in order to gain some interest. Our students received extra credit for going to History Day, so some of the students will recognize the speaker. - Kristie Dean, Union County Schools