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Choctaw Indians in the 21st Century lesson plan


Historically, what binds most citizens to their community is the possibility of prosperity and opportunity. Due to continued land cessions and U.S. expansion, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians found their opportunity for prosperity and opportunity bleak. In order to ensure the survival of the Choctaw community, tribal leaders became very aggressive and progressive in their revival of the Choctaw economy. And as always, what benefits the parts of society also benefits the entire society. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians have become one of the most important contributors to the state of Mississippi’s economy.


Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 2, 3 and 4.


Grades 7 through 12.





Overhead transparencies and pen

Mississippi History Now article, “Mississippi Choctaws in the 21st Century”

Notebook paper

Unlined paper

Colored pencils and markers

Computer and Internet access


Students will:

Determine the reasons for the economic development of the Choctaw tribe.

Classify the types of economic development initiated by the Choctaw.

Describe the factors that lured manufacturers to Mississippi to develop economic enterprises with the Choctaw tribe.

Evaluate the impact of the economic development of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians on the state economy.


The teacher will ask students to explain the term economy. A student could be asked to look up the definition in a dictionary. The teacher will further explain the term economy and ask the class the following questions (students should be reminded to record information from the discussion in their notebooks):

What type of economic activity did American Indians perform before European settlement and the expansion of the United States?

Can you give possible examples of have American Indians like the Choctaw might have been affected economically by U.S. expansion?

What type of economic activity is performed on American Indian reservations today?

Why might businesses be interested in partnering with American Indian tribes or locating on reservations today?



Students may work alone or with a partner to complete the generalizations worksheet at the end of this lesson. The students will record their answers to the worksheet as they read the Mississippi History Now article. After the students have completed the assignment, allow student volunteers to share their answers. The chalkboard or overhead can be used to record student responses which will allow the class to check their answers.


The teacher will explain to the students the different types of economic activity that can generate revenue (examples: manufacturing, service, retail, tourism industry). The teacher will recreate the chart found at the end of this lesson for use in this portion of the lesson. The chart can be displayed on the chalkboard or on an overhead transparency in order to record student responses. The teacher will solicit for student volunteers to suggest the appropriate economic category for each economic activity (20th century) listed in the Mississippi History Now article and record the student responses. The teacher can also ask students to suggest what type of jobs these economic activities might generate for a community.


Place the class into groups of three for this portion of the lesson. Tell the students that they are a part of an award committee that will choose a group or person to receive a distinguished economic development award. The name of the award is Mississippi Economic Development Award (you can also let the groups name the award). It is the responsibility of the award committee to compose a speech that addresses the contributions of the recipient. This year’s recipient is the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The award committee might also consider designing illustrations in the form of graphs or posters that help visually illustrate the contributions of this year’s recipient to the Mississippi state economy. Instead of posters, students could also be allowed to make a powerpoint presentation that might be a part of the award ceremony. Economic information about the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians can be located in the Mississippi History Now article as well as at the website for the Choctaw tribe (http://www.choctaw.org). (Accessed July 2007)


Allow the student to present their speeches and visuals to the class.



Class participation


Generalization worksheet


Economic activity chart


Speeches and visuals



Invite a guest speaker from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians to speak to the class.


Allow the students to create brochures or advertisements for tourism industry on the Choctaw Reservation.


If possible, organize a field trip to the Choctaw Indian Reservation.


Mississippi Choctaws in the 21st Century: Generalizations About Progress


Instructions: Generalizations are broad statements that represent main ideas about important events. Using your Mississippi History Now article, locate at least three details that support the accuracy of the generalizations found on this worksheet.


The development of the United States as a country caused the prosperity of the Choctaw tribe to decline.


Mississippi Choctaw Today: Generalizations About Progress (PDF)

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