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Manuel Gayoso and Spanish Natchez lesson plan

OVERVIEW

Leaders of the past can still serve as great models in the present. Manuel Gayoso serves as one such example. His administrative strategies used in establishing the city of Natchez for the Spanish allowed that city to have a tremendous influence on Mississippi’s territorial days and early statehood. The latest census for Mississippi shows that regions continue to grow and develop today, as they did during Gayoso’s time, and lessons can be learned from his decisions.

CURRICULAR CONNECTIONS

Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 3 and 4.

TEACHING LEVELS

Grades 7 through 12

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT

Overhead projector

Transparency film and overhead projector pen

Chalk and chalkboard

Paper for map construction

Paper and pen for speech

Various Mississippi history textbooks or maps from other sources

Mississippi History Now article, “Manuel Gayoso and Spanish Natchez”

OBJECTIVES

Students will:

1.

Construct suitable maps to relate the following information: boundaries of Spanish Louisiana, Spanish West Florida, the United States border in 1789, the disputed territory between 31 degrees and 32 degrees 28 minutes, Natchez, Vicksburg, Memphis, New Orleans and the Mississippi River; Spain, Portugal, North America and the Atlantic Ocean.

2.

Explain why Gayoso was chosen to govern the Natchez District.

3.

Describe the challenges Gayoso faced at Natchez.

4.

Examine the plans implemented by Gayoso in the Natchez District.

5.

Describe how the United States and Spain resolved the conflict over disputed territory, which included the Natchez District.

OPENING THE LESSON

Explain to the students that during the 1700s European nations competed to secure control of their land claims in North America. The European governments looked for strong, capable leaders to develop these regions. The areas controlled by Spain were culturally diverse due to land acquisitions following the French and Indian War. Ask the students what type of experience and qualities would a person need in order to develop frontier regions. The teacher can record the student responses on an overhead transparency or on the chalkboard. The responses can be placed in a web format.

Explain to the students that the Spanish government chose Manuel Gayoso to organize the Natchez District because he possessed many of these qualities. His effectiveness as a leader allowed Natchez to become a city with cultural and political influence in Mississippi’s territorial and early statehood periods. Tell the students that they will now take a look at the challenges Manuel Gayoso faced and the plans he implemented as the Spanish governor of the Natchez District.

DEVELOPING THE LESSON

1.

The students will construct a series of maps based on objective one.

2.

After maps are complete, have the students compose a paragraph assuming the identity of Manuel Gayoso. The students should refer to the maps to review the great distance he traveled to his new post at Natchez. Gayoso had much time to reflect on the enormous task that awaited him. The paragraph should appear as one journal entry that he may have written as he traveled to his new assignment.

3.

Allow the students to share their paragraphs with a partner.

4.

In large group discussion, have students speculate on his feelings and concerns about his new assignment.

5.

After students read the Mississippi History Now article, place the class in groups of three. Tell the groups that they are a planning committee that has been organized to recognize Manuel Gayoso’s service at Natchez. Each group should compose a speech that will be delivered at a special ceremony. The groups should also make reference in the speech that the United States will be assuming control of the Natchez District and that Gayoso was promoted to Spanish governor-general of Louisiana. If time permits, the groups could plan the entire ceremony, which might include music, invitations, and food. The cultural diversity of the region could be used in every area of the ceremony.

CONCLUDING THE LESSON

Students will present their speeches to the class.

The teacher will ask the students the following questions:

 

1.

What qualities did Gayoso possess that helped him be successful at Natchez?

2.

What were Gayoso’s greatest accomplishments at Natchez?

3.

How did the United States and Spain resolve the dispute over the area that contained the Natchez District?

ASSESSING STUDENT LEARNING

1.

Maps

2.

Paragraph evaluation

3.

Speech

4.

Participation in class discussion

EXTENDING THE LESSON

1.

Students can design posters to entice settlers to the Natchez District.

2.

Numerous activities in the Majesty of Spain Teachers’ Guide, 2001.

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