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        North Dakota | Activity 7.6: North Dakota’s American Indians in 1776

        Students watch a video about North Dakota and its tribes at the time of the American Revolution. Students learn about trade between American Indian groups. An advanced activity is available for students to write an essay about American Indian life in the 1700s.

        Lesson Summary

        Students watch a video about North Dakota and its tribes at the time of the American Revolution. Students learn about trade between American Indian groups. An advanced activity is available for students to write an essay about American Indian life in the 1700s.

        This lesson is part of "Great States | North Dakota | Unit 7: Statehood & Citizenship" - a survey of what it means to be a citizen of North Dakota. Learn about government structures and challenges citizens of North Dakota have faced.

        Time Allotment

        20 minutes

        Learning Objectives

        Standards: 

        4.2.6: Describe the daily lives (e.g., roles, shelter, significance of bison) of the first inhabitants of North Dakota

        4.2.10: Explain the significance of agriculture in North Dakota history (e.g., immigration, railroads)

        4.6.2: Explain the contributions of various ethnic groups (e.g., American Indians, immigrants) to the history of North Dakota (e.g., food, traditions, languages, celebrations)

        Supplies

        • Video: Liberty Minutes | Life in North Dakota in 1776
        • An interactive whiteboard, projector, or other type of screen to project videos to the class
        • About a dozen samples of dried ears of corn, and a few packs of sunflower seeds. If real samples cannot be obtained, have felt or paper representations prepared.
        • Six large pieces of felt in two colors, three each of dark brown and cream, to represent dried buffalo meat and tanned buffalo hide, respectively.

        Directions

        1. Indicate that the students will be watching a short video about how American Indian tribes in North Dakota interacted with each other. Explain that by 1776, the time of the American Revolution, tribes of the upper Missouri region were already engaged with well-developed trade practices. The video will go into more detail.
        2. Play the video, Liberty Minutes | Life in North Dakota in 1776 [1:51]. Note: if you are having trouble with playback, you can download the video via the “Download” button below the viewer window.
        3. As a class discussion, have students answer the following questions:
          1. Who were the two groups of American Indian tribes that partook in 1776? Explain each type.
          2. What did the agricultural groups grow?
          3. What did the agricultural tribes want?
          4. What did the Buffalo hunting tribes want?
        4. Explain to the class that they will be divided into three groups, and each given a product to trade, in order to conduct their own aboriginal and nomadic trading.
          1. Divide the class into three groups. Have Group 1 take the corn; Group 2 take the sunflower seeds; Group 3 take the felt hides and dried meat.
          2. The three groups should meet and participate in an exchange of goods. If they need assistance, help guide each group to obtain each type of good from the other two (without giving away all of their original goods).
          3. Conduct a follow-up discussion about why successful trade would make all three groups better off (through trade, they all obtain important goods for food, clothing, and shelter).

        Answer Key

        1. Agricultural tribes like the Mandan, Hidasta, and Arikara, traded with buffalo hunting tribes that moved from place to place. [0:25 and 0:45].
        2. Corn, squash, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds [0:40].
        3. Agricultural tribes wanted dried meats, tanned hides—products from buffalo. [1:00]
        4. Buffalo-hunting groups wanted crops, especially corn [1:10].

        Advanced Activity (8th Grade)

        Learning Objectives

        Standards: 

        8.2.11: Explain the significance of key events (e.g., settlement and homesteading, statehood, reservations) and people (e.g., Sakakawea, Lewis & Clark, early fur traders and settlers) in North Dakota and tribal history

        Time Allotment:

        15 minutes in class and take-home assignment

        Supplies

        Directions

        1. Indicate that the students will be watching a short video about how American Indian tribes in North Dakota interacted with each other. Explain that by 1776, the time of the American Revolution, tribes of the upper Missouri region were already engaged with well-developed trade practices. The video will go into more detail.
        2. Play the video, Liberty Minutes | Life in North Dakota in 1776 [1:51]. Note: if you are having trouble with playback, you can download the video via the “Download” button below the viewer window.
        3. As a class discussion, have students answer the following questions:
          1. What are the two types of trade in which American Indian tribes partook in 1776? Explain each type.
          2. What did the agricultural groups grow?
          3. What did the agricultural tribes want?
          4. What did the buffalo hunting tribes want?
        4. On their handouts, have the students write a three-paragraph essay answering the following questions: “While the Revolutionary War was happening in the east, how did American Indians of North Dakota interact? Were they flourishing or suffering? Explain.”

        Answer Key

        Discussion questions:

        1. Agricultural tribes like the Mandan, Hidasta, and Arikara, traded with buffalo hunting tribes that moved from place to place. [0:25 and 0:45].
        2. Corn, squash, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds [0:40].
        3. Agricultural tribes wanted dried meats, tanned hides—products from buffalo. [1:00]
        4. Buffalo hunting tribes wanted crops, especially corn [1:10].

        Points to look for in student essays:

        1. Positive interactions through an existing strong network of trade. [0:18]
        2. Agricultural tribes engaged in aboriginal trade, where they traded crops among each other. [0:30] They grew and traded corn, squash, pumpkins, and sunflower seeds. [0:40]
        3. The agricultural tribes also traded with the buffalo-hunting groups. The agricultural tribes traded crops (corn, squash, pumpkins, sunflower seeds) for buffalo products like dried meat and tanned hides. [1:00]
        4. They all flourished – culturally, religiously, economically. [1:20]
        5. There were plenty of goods to go around and each was well-off/well-to-do. [1:27]

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