1. Using some of the websites listed below on the history of reservations, ask students to research the various reasons for the creation of reservations and to think about common themes in the history of Native American reservations.
2. Then, engage students in a class discussion, asking such questions as:
- What is a reservation?
- Who lives on reservations?
- Why were reservations created?
- What does a reservation look like today/
3. In order to place students ‘in the shoes’ of the Native Americans of the 19th century, engage students in a role-playing activity by giving the students a scenario in which their families have just been ordered to leave their homes and move to a completely new area of the U.S., and, in addition, to change their way of life by taking up new ways, such as farming.
4. Have students write a reaction paper in regard to this change in their lifestyle as a young adult being told by the government that they have to move to this certain area.
This lesson could be extended by arranging for communication (letter, chat room, or discussion forum) with a school on an Indian reservation (or vice versa) so students can ask other students what it is like where they live.