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Chickasaws: The Unconquerable People lesson plan


The Chickasaw Indians were considered to be the most fierce, warlike American Indian tribe in Mississippi. Military expertise, proficient diplomacy and cultural adaptation allowed the Chickasaw to survive in an ever-changing world that surrounded them. But with the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830, the Chickasaw were no longer in a position to negotiate in order to protect their ancestral homeland in Mississippi. By 1837, the Chickasaw would be forced to journey westward to Indian Territory. The historical presence of this noble and brave tribe can be seen through the names of local sites, towns and counties throughout current day Mississippi.


Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 3 and 4.


Grades 4 (with modifications) through 12.


Mississippi History Now article


Chalk and Chalkboard and/or overhead project and transparency

Unlined paper for timelines

Notebook paper for chart and journal entries


Students will:

Create a timeline on the history of the Chickasaw tribe.

Determine the cause and effect of historical events.

Explore the feeling and emotions of the Chickasaw on the issue of Indian Removal through a student created composition.


The teacher will ask the students to imagine that oil has been discovered in their neighborhood. Due to the need of this natural resource, the people in their neighborhood are forced to move to another city. Ask the students how they would feel about the “forced” move? Explain to the students that the Chickasaw Indians as well as other American Indians experienced similar circumstances in the 1800s. The land that the American Indians occupied became a very valuable resource to the United States.



Have the students construct a timeline on the history of the Chickasaws. Allow the students to work independently or with a partner on this portion of the lesson. As the students read the Mississippi History Now article, ask them to record the events that occurred in the years listed below, on a sheet of paper. After the students have determined all the events, ask them to plot the events chronically, in a vertical or horizontal format on a timeline.

1540 1699 1720 1724
1725 1730 1739 1736
1763 1740 1798 1795
1830 1832 1829  

After the students have completed their timelines, ask them questions about the events they plotted on their timelines.


Allow the students to work with partners for this portion of the lesson. Ask the students to copy the following chart on a sheet of paper. The chart can be displayed on an overhead transparency or a chalkboard. The teacher can also duplicate the chart for each group if preferred. The students should use the Mississippi History Now article to determine a cause and effect for each situation listed. The cause and effect should be listed in the appropriate columns on the chart. After the students have completed the chart, the teacher can solicit for student volunteers to share their answers with the class. The teacher can list student responses on the teacher-made chart displayed on the overhead or the chalkboard.





The Chickasaw were known as a fierce American Indian tribe.



The Chickasaws took members of the Choctaw tribe as captives.



The Chickasaws established a strong alliance with the British.



The Chickasaws granted the Natchez Indians refuge.



The Mississippi Territory was formed in 1798.



The Chickasaw underwent cultural and economic changes in the 1800s.



The Indian Removal Act was approved by Congress in 1830.



Have the students work independently on this portion of the assignment. Have each student compose a journal entry that may have been written by a Chickasaw Indian in the 1830s. The journal entry should address the issue of Indian removal to the West and the loss of the Chickasaw homeland in Mississippi. The students should reflect on feelings and emotions the Chickasaw may have felt about this relocation. Allow the students to move into groups of four and read their journal entries to their group members. Have each group choose one of the journal entries from the group to be read to the class.


Allow each group to read their selected paragraphs to the class. After the reading of the paragraphs, ask to the students to speculation on the justification of the removal.







Class participation


Journal entries



Students can analyze treaties negotiated between the Chickasaws and the United States government.


Students can create a dramatization of one of the events on their timeline.


Students can research the culture of the Chickasaw and make a diorama, model or artifact that represents the Chickasaw culture.



Mississippi History On Loan, a service offered by the Museum Division of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, has several videos that might be appropriate for this lesson. Videos listed in its catalog are available free of charge to Mississippi public schools and to eligible private schools. Complete the required form (if you do not have one, call 601-961-4724 and ask the audiovisual coordinator to mail one to you). Mail the completed form to: Mississippi History On Loan, Manship House Museum, 420 East Fortification street, Jackson, Mississippi 39202-2340. You can search the catalog at: http://teacherexchange.mde.k12.ms.us/


Access information concerning the Old Capitol Museum’s School Outreach Program at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s web site (www.mdah.state.ms.us). The Museum has available to school teachers in Mississippi, traveling trunks on various Mississippi history topics. They have available the American Indian traveling trunk. This trunk contains information that contains a binder of suggested lesson plans and associated activities for a 5-day teaching unit. The music, dance, games and origins of American Indian groups such as the Chickasaw are in the trunk, including an audiocassette of Chickasaw social songs and a turtle shell rattle. Numerous other artifacts are also included in order to enhance the learning experience. A video on “Tribes of the Southeast” provides an overview of American Indian cultures from this region and is included in this kit. Books, coloring books, pamphlets, and recipes included in the trunk also provide additional information on the Chickasaw as well as other native Mississippi tribes.

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