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The Migration to the Mississippi Territory, 1798-1819 lesson plan

OVERVIEW

Much can be learned from a thorough study of great population movements in our history. As students research the great migration to the Mississippi Territory which occurred between 1798 and 1819, they will recognize how this time period played a dominant role in shaping the later history of the state. Students should consider finding answers to the “W” questions:

Who was involved in the Great Migration?

What was the Great Migration?

When did the Great Migration occur?

Where did the Great Migration take place?

Why did the Great Migration happen?

CURRICULAR CONNECTIONS

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 3, and 4; Objectives 01, 10

TEACHING LEVELS

Grades 4 (with modifications) through 12

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT

Mississippi History Now article, “The Great Migration to the Mississippi Territory”

Various Mississippi History/Studies texts

Unlined paper for map and graph construction

Set of Historical Maps on File, optional

Additional resources: A History of Mississippi, Volume 1, Edited by Richard A. McLemore, University & College Press of Mississippi, 1973. Mississippi’s Piney Woods: A Human Perspective, Edited by Noel Polk, University Press of Mississippi, 1985

OBJECTIVES

Students will:

create a United States map (appropriate for the time period) showing boundaries of the Mississippi area, 1798-1819

locate major areas of settlement and determine reasons for settlement in each area.

show the changing population of the Mississippi Territory by constructing a graph.

determine reasons why settlers moved into the Mississippi Territory during this time period.

explain how the Great Migration affected the later development of the area (politically, culturally, economically, socially, etc.).

OPENING THE LESSON

Ask students to explain how the Mississippi area could have, at one time, been known as the “Old Southwest.” (Lead them to recall the boundaries of the United States during this time period.) Show the area on a map to students and explain that the lesson will focus on migration into the “Southwest.” Ask “why do people move?” After their responses, encourage students to imagine being pioneers moving into lands of a national forest in their locality. (Indicate on a large Mississippi map areas of national forests in the area.) Lead them to discuss what things they would need to do in order to settle the area. Compare this with the experiences of pioneers moving into the Mississippi area during the period of the Great Migration.

DEVELOPING THE LESSON

1.

Using maps from Historical Maps on File, currents texts, or other sources, along with the Mississippi History Now article, students will construct a period-appropriate map of the United States with special emphasis on the Mississippi Territory. They will locate the two principal settlement areas and indicate the 1800 population of each settlement area. (Students should also indicate areas still claimed by American Indians.)

2.

Using their map, students will write a paragraph describing the location of the Mississippi Territory and how its boundaries were different from the boundaries of the modern state.

3.

Students will discuss reasons why the largest settlements were in the Natchez district and the Tombigbee area. (Both areas had extremely fertile soil: the Tombigbee area was an extension of the Alabama Black Belt; the Natchez area had rich alluvial soil. Both areas had river transportation with Natchez having access to the port at New Orleans.)

4.

Using population data provided in the on-line article, students will construct a bar or line graph showing the population growth of the Mississippi Territory, 1798-1820. (Remind students to add the populations of the two major settlement areas.)

5.

To determine reasons and results of the Great Migration, students will carefully read the on-line article. Each student will construct a CAUSE/EFFECT chart. (A model is printed at the end of the lesson.)

6.

Using a THINK-PAIR-SHARE format, students will evaluate and clarify their understanding of the last two objectives. (Explanation of T-P-S is included at end of lesson.)

CONCLUDING THE LESSON

1.

Students will write an essay explaining the impact of Mississippi’s geography on the Great Migration. Additionally, students will speculate on how the development (history) of the area would have been different if the Great Migration had never occurred.

ASSESSING STUDENT LEARNING

1.

Map/graph construction

2.

Paragraph Evaluation

3.

CAUSE/EFFECT chart

4.

Participation in Class Discussion

5.

Essay

EXTENDING THE LESSON

1.

Have students prepare “propaganda” materials--fliers, travel brochures, etc.--to entice settlers to the old Southwest.

2.

Descriptions of the early Mississippi Territory can be found in A History of Mississippi, Volume 1, and Mississippi’s Piney Woods: A Human Perspective. If these resources are available, students could draw individual pictures depicting the landscape or participate in a group mural of the landscape.

THINK-PAIR-SHARE TECHNIQUE

1.

Students will individually THINK about causes/effects of the Great Migration as they read and complete their chart.

2.

Each student will PAIR with a nearby classmate to discuss and revise their work.

3.

Through a large-group discussion, students will share their information and teacher will clarify.

CAUSE/EFFECT CHART

 CAUSES

 

 EFFECTS

 

 

 

 

GREAT

 

 

M

 

 

I

 

 

G

 

 

R

 

 

A

 

 

T

 

 

I

 

 

O

 

 

N

 

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