Lesson 3: Trail of Tears Account Comparison


Your task is compare four secondary sources, four ACCOUNTS or VERSIONS or the past. You will examine the infamous ‘Trail of Tears’ and ultimately construct an essay that answers the following ESSENTIAL QUESTION:

What was the Trail of Tears, really?  (What did it mean/why was it important to white Americans?  What did it mean/why was important to Native Americans?)


Sources to Compare:

1.  Modern History Textbook

2.  Older (1950s-1970s) History Textbook

3.  Howard Zinn, A People’s History (liberal)

4.  A Patriot’s History (conservative): A Patriot’s History–Trail of Tears

For each source, you must take notes and record the following from  the text…

1.  What people are mentioned or elaborated upon?

2.  What perspectives or viewpoints are emphasized?

3.  What significant information is mentioned?

4.  In other words, what are they trying to “sell me”?

Remember, ultimately you must compare the information from these 4 sources and draw your own conclusions to answer the essential question above.

Here is a graphic organizer to get you started.  You will need to take more notes than the limited space provided, but it will help you organize your process.

Compare & Contrast perspectives

Standards for Assessment:

HS.7. Analyze the history, culture, tribal sovereignty, and historical and current issues of the American Indian tribes and bands in Oregon and the United States.

HS.13. Differentiate between facts and historical interpretations, recognizing that a historian’s narrative reflects his or her judgment about the significance of particular facts.

HS.60. Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from varied or opposing perspectives or points of view.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s