"Can There Ever Really be Justice on Stolen Land?" Basic Plan

Can There Ever Really Be Justice on Stolen Land?

The Basic Plan

Time: 25-40 Minutes

“The Basic Plan” consists of an optional preliminary activator activity, viewing the video, and responding to discussion prompts embedded in the video. Watched alone, the video + discussion prompts should take 15-20 minutes. The activators should take about 5 minutes. Depending on the needs of your classroom and curriculum, this lesson can be the sole accompaniment to the video OR the launching point for any of the other resources.

NOTE to educator:

  • This video contains descriptions and images of racist violence that some may find disturbing. Please be sure to inform students of this content prior to viewing and remind students of the respect and rigor required to study this history. This is hard history, but it is necessary history to study.

Objectives:

  • Explain the context, events, and significance of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
  • Examine the intersections of citizenship, land, cotton, and chattel slavery.

Activators (~5 minutes)

Optional: Begin with an activator activity before watching the episode to surface knowledge, heighten engagement, and contextualize the video.

Visual Activator: Notice/Wonder:

  1. Show students the image on the first slide of this slideshow.
  2. Give them, or have them quickly make, a Notice/Wonder T-chart.
  3. Give them 1-2 minutes to fill in the t-chart with things they see (“notice”) and questions or theories they have (“wonders”).
  4. Have 3-4 students share something they notice and 3-4 share something they wondered.

Audio Activator: Notice/Wonder

  1. Have students listen to the audio on this slideshow.
  2. Give them, or have them quickly make, a Notice/Wonder T-chart.
  3. Give them 1-2 minutes to fill in the t-chart with things they see (“notice”) and questions they have (“wonders”) .
  4. Have 3-4 students share something they notice and 3-4 share something they wondered.

The Episode (25-30 minutes)

Play the episode entitled “Can There Ever Really Be Justice on Stolen Land?” There will be three times for students to respond to questions embedded in the video, noted below. Before pressing play, choose a method for responding and make sure students are prepared (tech set up, physical materials ready). Consider any or some mix of the following:

  • Individual quick writes, handwritten or typed in this document.
  • Pair turn-and-talk, perhaps using Zoom if in a distance learning environment.
  • Using a tech tool like Socractive or Peardeck to share all written responses.

Notes:

  1. From 9:04-09:46 there is a “Reflection” question. Pause at 09:17. (NOTE: If you are having students view the video asynchronously, make sure to clearly tell them when to pause and how you want them to engage with the Reflection questions).
  2. Have students process & share. If students discuss in pairs, have quick share-outs.
  3. Continue playing the episode.
  4. From 15:05-15:15 there is another “Reflection” question. Pause at 15:15. The following questions are not displayed on the screen at this point, but if you wish to have your students discuss before watching scene 3, these questions would work well here:
    1. How do the relationships between land, citizenship, cotton, race and slavery make this history complicated?
    2. What connections can you make between what you have learned in class this year and what you have seen and heard?
  5. Have students process & share. If students discuss in pairs, have quick share-outs.
  6. At the end of the episode, students will be asked to respond to the following Final Reflection prompts: (1) How does this history complicate narratives that tend to have “heroes” and “villains?” (2) In the context of this history, what might steps toward justice look like? (3) What questions do you still have that need to be answered?
  7. Give students a few minutes to quickly respond (in writing or in small conversation groups) and then ask for a couple to share.