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Roots of American Diplomacy

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Summary

Students will understand the historical significance of the Iroquois Confederacy by examining Iroquois efforts to secure peace with other Native American peoples through diplomatic relations. Students will demonstrate this understanding through completion of a concept map on diplomacy, a writing assignment, and a skit presented to the class.

Coin Type(s)

  • Dollar

Coin Program(s)

  • Native American $1 Coin

Objectives

  • Students will understand the historical significance of the Iroquois Confederacy by examining Iroquois efforts to secure peace with other Native American peoples through diplomatic relations.
  • Students will demonstrate this understanding through completion of a concept map on diplomacy, a writing assignment, and a skit presented to the class.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Drama

Grades

  • Seventh grade
  • Eighth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Nine
Session Length: 60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • The importance of storytelling and myths in Native American culture
  • The role of diplomacy in current events
  • Structure of an essay
  • The definition of “conflict”

Terms and Concepts

  • Obverse
  • Reverse
  • Longhouse
  • Haudenosaunee
  • League of Five Nations
  • Peacemaker
  • Great Tree of Peace
  • Diplomacy

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector or computer and LCD projector
  • 1 overhead transparency or computer graphic of each of the following:
    • “2010 Native American $1 Coin” page
    • “Diplomacy Concept Map”
    • “Diplomacy Rubric”
  • Copies of the following (one for each student):
    • “Diplomacy Concept Map”
    • “Reading Guide”
    • “Diplomacy Rubric”
  • Copy of the Resource Guide (available at www.usmint.gov/kids)
  • Varied reading materials including textbooks, media materials, and bookmarked Internet sites about the Iroquois legend of the Peacemaker and the Iroquois Confederacy, such as:

Preparations

  • Make overhead transparencies or computer images of the following:
    • “2010 Native American $1 Coin” page
    • “Diplomacy Concept Map”
    • “Diplomacy Rubric”
  • Make copies of the following:
    • “Diplomacy Concept Map” (1 per student)
    • “Reading Guide” (1 per student)
    • “Diplomacy Rubric” (1 per student)
  • Locate appropriate texts that provide information on the Iroquois Confederacy and the Iroquois legend of the Peacemaker (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Arrange to use the computer lab or computer access for one class period (optional).
  • Bookmark Internet sites that have information on the Iroquois Confederacy, the Iroquois legend of the Peacemaker, or related topics (see examples under “Materials”).

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/129.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Hold a class discussion on conflict to build an understanding of the word. Have the students work with a partner to brainstorm the types of conflicts found in literature and life. Point out that conflict can be found in many places including homes, schools, and communities.
  2. Point out that the resolution of conflict can be positive. Ask the students to write about a time when a conflict was successfully resolved. It might be helpful to suggest that students consider conflict they have read about in fiction or non-fiction works, experienced, or seen.
  3. Allow students to share their writings with a partner, small group, or the class and to discuss what made the conflict resolution successful.
  4. Arrange the class into groups of four. Have each group create a chart of the skills and behaviors necessary for successful conflict resolution. Have each group share its chart with the class. Draft a class T-chart. In one column, list ways to positively resolve conflict. In the other, list the skills and behaviors that lead to these peaceful resolutions.
  5. Introduce the word “diplomacy” and explain that many of the skills and behaviors found on the class chart are necessary elements of diplomacy.
  6. Describe the Native American $1 Coin Program.
  7. Display the “2010 Native American $1 Coin” page. Identify the people on the coin and ask what anyone knows about the Iroquois.
  8. Provide background on the Iroquois by reading or telling a story or showing a video about the Iroquois. Point out the various actions and beliefs that led to conflict among various Native American people. Students should conclude that life was dangerous and difficult for the Iroquois before the Iroquois Confederacy was formed.

Session 2

  1. Ask the students to consider the methods of conflict resolution they discussed during session 1 and determine which of those might have worked for the Iroquois. Have the students brainstorm other ways they could have resolved the conflicts faced by the Iroquois.
  2. Review the definition of “diplomacy” discussed in session 1.
  3. Distribute the “Diplomacy Concept Map” and display the screen version for the class to see. Provide a description of what diplomacy is and have students work with a partner to form a definition using teacher input, student brainstorming, and prior knowledge, text, and dictionaries.
  4. Discuss definitions and agree on a class definition to be recorded in the center of the concept map.
  5. Lead the class in completing the section titled “Essential Characteristics” on the “Diplomacy Concept Map.” Allow partners to complete the section entitled “Detrimental Behaviors.” Discuss.
  6. Have students predict the challenges the Iroquois might have faced in trying to form the Iroquois Confederacy to resolve the conflicts they faced.

Session 3

  1. Review the “Diplomacy Concept Map” started in previous class.
  2. Distribute a “Reading Guide” to each student.
  3. Assign previously identified readings on the Iroquois Confederacy and/or legend of the Peacemaker. While reading, each student should complete the section of the concept map entitled “Examples from the Iroquois” and answer the questions on the reading guide. If different reading materials are assigned, inform the students that they may or may not be able to find information on all of the questions in their reading.
  4. Allow small groups to share their findings.
  5. Distribute a “Diplomacy Rubric” to each student. Review the rubric so all students have a clear understanding of the expectations for the writing product.
  6. Make a writing assignment that is appropriate for your students. Possible assignments include the following:
    • A five-paragraph essay that answers all the questions in the reading guide.
    • A three-paragraph essay that answers one of the questions in the guide.
  7. Use the remainder of the class period for students to research or begin drafting their essays.

Session 4

  1. Assign the students to small groups and have the students share their writing with the group members.
  2. Have the small groups create a skit that dramatizes what they’ve learned about the Iroquois Confederacy. The skits can focus on the answer to one or more of the questions addressed in the essay. For presentation ideas, suggest scenarios such as an interview, an Iroquois press conference, a meeting of the Confederacy leaders, or an Iroquois attempt to get other tribes to stop fighting and join their new Confederacy.
  3. Distribute and review the “Diplomacy Rubric.”
  4. Allow sufficient time for the students to prepare and present their skits.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Have student partners read the reading assignment.
  • Allow extended time for research and/or writing.
  • Match text reading levels with the reading abilities of students.
  • Adjust writing assignment to meet individual abilities.
  • Allow students to dictate to a scribe.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students do further research on the Iroquois Confederacy and explore the symbolism found in the Great Tree of Peace.
  • Have students read about the previously released “Three Sisters of Agriculture” coin at http://www.usmint.gov/kids/coinNews/nativeAmerican/.
  • Have students research the role that the Iroquois Confederacy played in the development of the United States Constitution.
  • Use the essays, the concept maps, and the group presentations to evaluate whether each student has met the objective of the lesson.
  • Use the rubric to evaluate the essay and skit.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.8 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 8
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.8.1. Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RI.8.2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • RI.8.3. Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.7 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 8
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.7.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
    • Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
    • Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.
    • Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.
  • SL.7.2. Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • SL.7.3. Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.8 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 8
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.8.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • Come to discussions prepared having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
    • Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
    • Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.
    • Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.
  • SL.8.2. Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
  • SL.8.3. Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.7 Language
Grade(s): Grade 8
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.7.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.
    • Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.
    • Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.
  • L.7.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt).
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.8 Language
Grade(s): Grade 8
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.8.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of verbals (gerunds, participles, infinitives) in general and their function in particular sentences.
    • Form and use verbs in the active and passive voice.
    • Form and use verbs in the indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional, and subjunctive mood.
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.
  • L.8.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, dash) to indicate a pause or break.
    • Use an ellipsis to indicate an omission.
    • Spell correctly.

This lesson plan is not associated with any National Standards.