1. Begin the lesson by showing students the map (below) of the Indian tribes in the United States. If possible, print out this map for distribution to students so they can plot the progress of the Indian Wars.
2. Point out that western expansion in the United States involved, and among other things, the conquering of a large number of Indian tribes in all parts of the country. Beginning in the 15th century, the Indian Wars lasted until 1890 and cost untold numbers of lives on both sides.
3. The last really significant Indian leader to go up against the U.S. Army was Geronimo. Many stories and legends have come down to us about him, some of which were pretty much invented in order to cast him in a negative light.
4. Give students an opportunity to explore the websites listed below, as well as other websites and whatever print materials are available. When they’ve explored a bit, ask each student to select one aspect of either the Indian Wars or the life of Geronimo, and do one of the following:
- Write a short essay on the subject
- Make a poster demonstrating knowledge of the subject
- Write a “contemporary” news account about the subject
- Write a poem on the subject
- Write a letter to a member of the tribe related to the subject, outlining your reflections on the subject
- Create a PowerPoint presentation on the subject
5. When the projects are completed, select a day in which all students can share their findings and their projects.