Please Note: You are viewing the non-styled version of the Discover Ohio History website. Either your browser does not support Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or they are disabled. We suggest upgrading your browser to the latest version of your favorite Internet browser.

Discover Ohio History
Lesson Plans

Historic American Indians Lessons

The Ohio Historical Society has developed lesson plans and classroom activities to meet your needs in the teaching of Ohio history. All of the materials have been designed to enhance the Ohio Department of Education's new Academic Content standards and reflect the vast resources within the Society. Contact us for more information or to buy any of the lesson plans.

Historic American Indians:  Pre and Post Distance Learning Program Lessons

Johnston and National Indian Policies

Ohio Social Studies Academic Content Standards Addressed PDF
By reading two articles, students will expand their understanding of John Johnston, an Indian Agent during the removal period (1814-1843), and the United States' American Indian policies. Through a set of guided questions, students will compare the approaches of both Johnston and the national government (including President Andrew Jackson), evaluate their roles in furthering and restricting the rights of American Indians, and make comparisons to contemporary events.

John Johnston's Comments on Public Service

Ohio Social Studies Academic Content Standards Addressed PDF
John Johnston devoted his life to public service. In his Recollections of Sixty Years on the Ohio Frontier he criticized President Andrew Jackson's political appointments in the Commission of Indian Affairs, complained about their qualifications, and suggested desirable qualities for individuals in these leadership positions. After reading quotes from Johnston's Recollections, students will identify the qualities Johnston thought were desirable for people serving in the Commission of Indian Affairs and explain why he though they were desirable.

The Story Continues

Ohio Social Studies Academic Content Standards Addressed PDF
After having seen the distance learning program, entitled Should They Go or Should They Stay and learning about the Indian removal in Ohio, students can explore selected internet resources to learn how the same process of settlement, conflict, treaties, land acquisition, and removal continued to play out across the Nation until the end of the Indian wars in the 1890s. Students will learn about the long-term effects of the American Revolution, the Frontier Wars of the 1790s, and western expansion on American Indians in the United States.

Historic Indian Culture:  Case History Lessons

Skills and Methods:

Object, Document, and Image Study PDF

Students will learn how to "read" objects, documents and images in order to learn about the past. They will develop observation and record keeping skills, and in a way similar to historians, will practice drawing conclusions based on their observations.

Three Scenes from Ohio's Past

Students will view artifacts and documents from three historical hands-on stations representing geography, community, and culture. Taking on the persona of a reporter, investigator, historian, or archeologist, they will attempt to solve the mysteries they encounter at these stations. Students are encouraged to use inquiry-based learning through making inferences, exploring, and analyzing data represented at the historical stations.


Timeline of the Prehistoric People of Ohio

Using a multiple-tier time line, students will explore the Prehistoric time period of the Paleo-Indians, Archaic and Late-Prehistoric cultures. Students will draw conclusions about the Prehistoric people's way of life by studying artifacts.

Prehistoric Cultures of Ohio

After reading a passage describing characteristics of the Pre-historic People of Ohio, students will compare and contrast these peoples using the graphic organizer, "Alike but Different."

Mound Builders, Adena and Hopewell Cultures

Students will read about the cultural practices and products of the Adena and Hopewell. They will explore the significance of building mounds in the Woodland culture and use a 2 column graphic organizer to draw conclusions about the purpose of artifacts used by the Adena and Hopewell cultures.

Wigwams and Longhouses

Students begin learning about the Historic American Indians of Ohio by comparing wigwams and longhouses. They will learn that the American Indians drew upon the surrounding resources to provide for their basic needs and their way of life.

The Migration of the Historic Indians of Ohio

Using maps of Ohio's physical features, students will learn how the Historic American Indians of Ohio interacted with their natural environment.

Trails of the Historic Indians of Ohio

Using maps of Ohio's physical features and political maps, students will learn how the Historic American Indians of Ohio interacted with their natural environment.


Structure of Family and Tribal Roles

Groups of students, "Tribes," will study one of the following American Indian tribes: Delaware, Ottawa, Wyandot, Mingo, Miami, or Shawnee, striving to become expert on their assigned tribe. They will learn how families, tribes and governments help provide for the common good, document their findings, and will share their information with the members of the other tribes.

Ohio's Historic Indian Leaders

Groups of students, "Tribes," will study their historic Indian leaders to learn how they sought to protect and provide for their peoples. They will share their findings and compare them with the findings of the other tribal groups.

Historic Indians of Ohio, Alike But Different

Groups of students, "Tribes," will council "meet" with two other tribal groups to compare cultural commonalities and differences. Using a graphic organizer, students will record and analyze how various Historic American Indians groups met the challenges of its peoples.

Cultural Practices and Products:

Artifact Study: What Purpose Did the Artifact Serve?

Students will work in cooperative groups to view images of artifacts and to research the artifacts. Students will report on their graphic organizer the name of the artifact, the purpose of the artifact and the item that we may use today instead of that artifact.

Ceremonial Rituals of the Historic Indians of Ohio

Naming a Child, Marriage, Adoption, and First Animal Kill are some of the ceremonies and rituals students will study in order to analyze how the historic Indians celebrated their traditions, history and beliefs in the ceremonies and rituals. Students will meet in their historical tribal Indian group to research ceremonies practiced by their tribe. They will share what they have learned with the rest of the class and then select a ceremonial ritual from their historical Indian tribe to reenact. The tribal group will research, plan, and perform the ceremonial ritual.

The Use of Symbolic Objects – Meets Ohio Academic Content Standards for Grades 4 & 5

Historic American Indians used ceremonial and symbolic objects to help them recall or remember special events. Students will learn why objects such as a prayer stick and the wampum belt were important, considered sacred, and respected.

The standards documents and lesson plan sample are in Adobe PDF format and are less than .3 MB in size, a 45 second download on a 56K modem.

To view PDF files, download Adobe's free Acrobat Reader.