Lesson Plan: Overview

Trade Trials Treaties

Grade Level: 4th
1761 Treaty between the Cherokee and South Carolina

Academic Standards

Social Studies Standard 4-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the settlement of North America by Native Americans, Europeans, and African Americans and the interactions among these peoples.

4-2.7 Explain how conflicts and cooperation among the Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans influenced colonial events including the French and Indian Wars, slave revolts, Native American wars, and trade. (H, G, P, E)

Reading Indicators:

4-2.1 Summarize evidence that supports the central idea of a given informational text.

4-2.2 Analyze informational texts to draw conclusions and make inferences.

4-2.7 Use graphic features such as illustrations, graphs, charts, maps, diagrams, and graphic organizers as sources of information.

4-2.9 Analyze informational texts to identify cause-and-effect relationships.

Writing Standard 4-5: The student will write for a variety of purposes and audiences.

4-5.1 Create informational pieces such as postcards, flyers, letters, and e-mails that use language appropriate for the specific audience.

Research Indicator :

4-6.8    Select appropriate graphics, in print or electronic form, to support written works and oral and visual presentations.

Literacy Elements

E. Explain change and continuity over time

K. Use texts, photographs, and documents to observe and interpret social studies trends and relationships                                            

L. Interpret calendars, time lines, maps, charts, tables, graphs, diagrams, photographs, paintings, cartoons, architectural drawings, documents, letters, censuses, and other artifacts

O. consider multiple perspectives of documents and stories

Essential Questions

1. How did the treaty affect cooperation, create conflicts, and affect trade and wars between the Cherokee and English during 1761?

2. What was the reoccurring theme presented in the treaty between the English and Cherokee?

3.  How did the treaty affect trade and the exchange of property? 

4. What cause and effect relationships existed between the English and Cherokee during 1761?

5. What is the main idea of the treaty articles? 

6. What viewpoint is expressed most vividly and why?

7. What connections exist between the treaty and life in 1761?

Historical Background Notes

Trade was an important aspect of the Cherokee culture for centuries.  The Cherokee Path was a trade route for early Carolina.  The Cherokees were part of a sophisticated agrarian community that traded with other tribes.   As colonists began to settle deep within Cherokee towns, trade formed between the English and other Europeans.  The Cherokee traded deerskins for metal farming tools which was appealing because of the durability of the tools.  The exchange of goods also provided the Cherokee with weapons and a new found desire to kill deer for more than personal need.  As the Europeans increased in number, the demand for deerskins increased.  One account records that an average of more than 53,000 skins per year were sent to England.  Between 1699 and 1715, deerskins were the single most valuable export (Weir 1997, 143).  Trading became more complex due to restrictions placed on deerskins.  The Cherokee were shrewd traders and viewed the process differently than colonists.  They viewed trade as an interwoven relationship of personal and political ties as well as the direct exchange of goods (Hatley 1995, 42-45).  Even though their trade views differed, the Cherokee adopted the European’s concept of profit, credit, and debt.  For example Cherokee women often provided corn to those in need as a gift, yet they adopted the payback principle.  If something was given, then something was expected in return (Hatley 1995, 48-49). Cherokees associated trade to kinship which created concerns when traders abused trade agreements.         

The cultural exchange between the Cherokee and the English adapted to meet the needs of each while holding on to their varying views.  This cultural exchange would not mesh the differences among the population.  The disputes over land, mistreatment of the Cherokee people, skirmishes between traders, colonists, and the Cherokee formed a bubbling pot of turmoil.  The Cherokee viewed war very differently than the English.  War was an act of revenge or swift justice.  Warring parties could be as small as two men that retaliated against an injustice (Claro 1992, 19). Trade became strained when tensions escalated in the 1750s.  Often times these disagreements resulted in death, war, and imprisonment (Hatley 1995, 120-125).  The Cherokee retaliated against an attack that began in Virginia when settlers killed several Cherokee warriors that were fighting against the French (Edgar 2006, 162-163). The tensions continued to increase and spread southward.  The controversy over trade, attacks within settlements, and land disputes would escalate to war with the Cherokee.  This war lasted from 1759-1761. 

Colonel James Grant attacked the middle and upper towns of the Cherokee.  He destroyed towns along with thousands of crops which broke the Cherokee’s will to fight.  The Cherokee were defeated and forced to negotiate a treaty with the Europeans.  They exchanged captives, broke all ties with the French, and relinquished South Carolina land to the English.  The Cherokee realized that their position within the upper and lower towns was limited and the ability to win against the colonists was near impossible.  As a result they agreed to sign a treaty which ended the Cherokee War.  It was signed in Charleston on September 23, 1761 (Edgar 2006, 163). 

Cherokee leadership was an important aspect of trade and peace with the English.  The Cherokee leaders were instrumental in negotiations with the settlers to establish peace, although it cost them hunting grounds, land, and unfair treatment.  One of the Cherokee leaders during the mid 1700s was known as Little Carpenter, Attakulla Kulla (Edgar 2006, 35).  He helped build Fort Prince George in Pickens County and was an influential diplomat with trade problems.  Shortly after the Cherokee War, Attakulla Kulla was instrumental in helping establish peace and trade once again with the Governors of South Carolina.  Most of the treaties signed during this time gave little compliance to the Cherokee, but with their population, land, trade and freedoms dwindling, they had little to no bargaining power.  Treaties became trials for the Cherokee which forced them from their lands and limited their freedoms. 

Trade had been a normal part of the Cherokee culture for thousands of years.  European trade would eventually change the Cherokee way of life.  “In nearly 250 years of contact with whites, the Cherokees had faced constant turmoil.  War and disease had devastated their way of life.  But now they looked ahead to a peaceful future.  They had lost many of their people and much of their territory.  They were confident, though that their peace with the Americans would gain them some security at last (Claro 1992, 31).”


Primary Sources

“A Treaty of Peace and Friendship,” 18 December 1761.  Constitutional and Organic Papers. Treaties with the Cherokee.  S131005.  South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, S. C.

Secondary Sources

Claro, Nicole. The Junior Library of American Indians: The Cherokee Indians. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1992.

Hatley, Tom.  The Dividing Paths: Cherokees and South Carolinians through the Era of Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press 1995.

Walter Edgar, ed. The South Carolina Encyclopedia. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2006.

Weir, Robert M. Colonial South Carolina: A History. Reprint. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1997.

"Cherokees". Available from the Internet, Son of the South. Accessed 10 October 2008.

"Georgia Historical Society". Available from the Internet. Georgia Historical Society, Accessed 10 October 2008.

"Historical Society of Pennsylvania".  Available from the Internet, Historical Society.  Accessed 10 October 2008.

"The Warriors of AniKituhwa" . Available from the Internet, Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Accessed 10 October 2008.

"Muzzleloader Magazine". Available from the Internet.  Scurlock Publishing Online Catalog. Accessed 10 October 2008.

Stone, Angela, dir. Cherokee. Technology Class SWU, 2006.


Vocabulary test
Promethean Board
Laptops and Internet access
Paper and Pencils
Thinking Maps
Primary source transcription
Maps of Cherokee territory, see "Cherokees"
Cherokee and S. C. Treaty of 1761, see “A Treaty of Peace and Friendship
Guided questions and rubric, see Project Outline and Rubric

Lesson Plans

1. The teacher will access background knowledge and show students a short video clip of the Cherokee people and their shrinking territories.

2. The teacher will flash forward to the Cherokee Wars and its impact on Pickens County.

3. Introduce key vocabulary and access prior knowledge using a power point and websites. 

4. Access Prior Knowledge using a Thinking Map for trade, treaty, and other key words to aid understanding.

5. The teacher will teach a short background and history of the Cherokee, Attakulla Kulla, trade and treaties.

6. The students will examine the Treaty of 1761, see “A Treaty of Peace and Friendship, to analyze the cause-effect relationship, main idea, theme, connections to life in 1761, and visual imagery between the Cherokee and English. 

7. Pose essential question: How did the treaty affect cooperation, create conflicts, and affect trade and wars between the Cherokee and English during 1761?

8. Students will answer guided questions individually, meet in groups to read article transcripts, see Primary source transcription, and connect it to the essential question.

9. The teacher will describe the project requirements and review rubric, see Project Outline and Rubric

10. The students will sign up, see Treaty Project Sign Up, for an individual project based on their interpretation of the treaty articles.  They will be able to choose from the following: a power point presentation, illustration, or newspaper article that establishes the cause-effect relationship or explains the main idea of the article, a title that expresses the overall theme of the article, and a visual representation with a caption. 

11. Students will share individual projects and justify the relationship between the Cherokee and English.

Teacher Reflections

TAHSC has provided me with a new outlook on teaching in general.  It not only prepared me for greater understanding in Social Studies content, but also helped me become a better teacher over all. The program’s structure using content, methods and cultural collaboration created an overall format for great teaching no matter the subject area of instruction that is taught. 

The content instruction from the program actually helped me to evaluate my classroom teaching practices and increase my overall knowledge of history.  I realized how difficult it is for me to go beyond the knowledge-application level of questioning due to the number of standards I must cover in a year.  For example, during the lecture on the Age of Discovery, Paul used four key words as a theme to teach the content for that day.  I enjoyed the content instruction because of the inquiry-based instruction.  Not only did it increase my knowledge of the historic material presented for the day, but it made me evaluate my daily instruction.  The content instruction could be strengthened by providing key reading assignments instead of chapter readings.  Due to the fast pace of the class, it was impossible to read all the chapters in the text book and complete the novel reading.  One suggestion is to provide essential questions for the day with necessary text book reading pages instead of chapters.  Overall the instruction was fantastic.  I was so impressed with the power of “themes” that I decided to implement this format during my lesson.  I chose to use the key words: trade, fair and unfair which ties easily to the theme of trade.  Many fourth graders can relate to these words because they are constantly trading things at school which often results in conflicts. 

Using various primary sources such as photos, artwork, and reading from the text gave me greater insight into concepts that I knew little about. The methods instruction taught me to go beyond mere text book knowledge and use other sources of information. As a result, I have been using primary sources and other secondary sources to increase my students’ content knowledge in reading.  I also try to present the information in a way that will grab their attention.  As I attended the daily sessions which focused on inquiry-based instruction, I realized the power of learning that it placed on all students.  During the methods instruction, we shared key knowledge which increased our background understanding.  Time constraints limited the amount of information we received during the lectures.  One suggestion to strengthen the program would be using jigsaws to teach learning strategies to the other participants.  That may allow Mandy more time to focus on the project guidelines.  The participants would receive needed classroom strategies while giving Mandy more time to review course requirements. 

Visiting the cultural institutions during the summer institute introduced me to the Upcountry History Museum.  As a result, I decided to partner with them.  I contacted Mr. Hinson via email to set up a field trip and choose an enrichment activity to correspond with our Native American unit.  He suggested that we participate in the Cherokee and Catawba archaeological dig which would review the Native American culture and their contribution to our local area.  My students enjoyed the visit and connect Upstate history to our local area instead of being a collection of facts in a textbook.  The most difficult process was narrowing down a project that would be beneficial to the museum.  Although I contacted Mr. Hinson several times, he had no suggestions for me.  It would strengthen the program for cultural institutions to have a list of possible partnership options because Mr. Hinson had no idea what my requirements were for the class.  As I result, I suggested making a photographic movie of our visit to the museum.

The institution provided me with the needed criteria for my lesson to succeed.  I felt very prepared to teach my lesson on trade and conflict.  I used a movie to introduce the lesson that I had made several years ago.  I also created a PowerPoint, found websites and used various sources to prepare my lesson. I felt relatively confident, but often had to refer to my notes to make sure the information that I was sharing was accurate.  I enjoy teaching history although the preparation takes time.  My students were amazed at the penmanship and style of paper that the treaty was written on.  They were engaged and excited to work in groups.  One of my greatest concerns was the reading level of my students.  Seventy percent of my students read below a fourth-grade reading level.  Many of them cannot read cursive print which made reading the document impossible.  I asked for a transcription of the treaty, but due to time constraints on my part, I worked every morning transcribing the document to the best of my ability.  I realize that there were mistakes because it was difficult for me to read also.  As I transcribed the treaty, I became aware of the difficulties my struggling readers face in decoding and comprehension.      

My students loved the visualizing activity because they enjoy drawing.  It also helped them identify the main idea and theme of the article.  I thought that identifying the theme would be the most difficult task of all, but my students were able to process the information with little to no problems.  As soon as we had decoded the treaty and discussed its meaning, the students were given the option of creating a PowerPoint, drawing and writing a caption, or writing a newspaper article from a section of the treaty. 

No one signed up to write a newspaper article.  The most popular choice was PowerPoint.   That was the second obstacle that we faced.

Many students that chose to create a PowerPoint had never been exposed to the program.  I had to spend one day allowing them to “play” on the computer to understand how to type and insert pictures from clip art or web files.  The technology barrier seemed to be the greatest factor in the quality of the assessment.  If you will notice in the student’s copy of work, one of my students created a slide show with his name and a cow, another student added random images that had no explanation or reasoning for using it.  Many of the student’s examples had grammar and spelling errors. Overall the technology barrier was the most difficult to overcome, although the students were not frustrated.  I actually needed one adult per computer station to help with the technology barrier.   

The visual framing was the smoothest assessment.  Students completed a “sloppy copy” of his or her work before making the final.  I checked the work, and they were finished much earlier than the students making a slideshow.  This was not a major problem because early finishers read Native American books.

Students were required to take a vocabulary test.  Most students did quite well on the vocabulary.  We identified a group of primary and secondary sources by using post-it-notes to categorize it.  We also enjoyed creating a graphic organizer for Articles 6-12 in the treaty.  Students quickly picked up on the unfair practices of the English toward the Cherokee. 

Overall the lesson went well, but the project creation took too long.  I felt much more prepared in teaching content because I used more than one source in my lesson.  If we had not spent an extra week in the computer lab finishing a slide, I would have been more pleased with the lesson.  I thought technology would allow the students to finish quickly.  Next year when I use this lesson, I will take a quick survey of student’s exposure to PowerPoint and ask the media specialist to help out.  I think this would make my life much easier. 

Student Assessment

The students will take a Vocabulary test on key terms including primary and secondary sources.  The students will identify the cause and effect relationship between trade, trials, and treaties using the guided questions as a guide.   The students will choose an individual project to complete: power point, illustration with captions, or a newspaper article, see Treaty Project Sign Up.  The project will be graded using a rubric, see Project Outline and Rubric, that outlines the requirements for each.

Examples of Students Work

A Treaty of Peace and Friendship

Visual-Student Samples


Angela Stone
Six Mile, South Carolina