Description of the Cherokee

Essential Standard

4. H.1.1

Summarize the change in cultures, everyday life and status of indigenous American Indian groups in NC before and after European exploration.

NC Standard Course of Study

2.01 Locate and describe American Indians in North Carolina, past and present.


1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others‟ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.

c. Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.

d. Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.


3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

b. Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.

d. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.

Activator 15-20 minutes

After lunch have students write 5 sentences about what they ate for lunch. Remind them to use as many of their five senses that they can. Make sure students do not tell what they had for lunch only describe it.

Have students get in group of 2-4 and read their sentences to the group and see if they can figure out what the other students had for lunch.

Mini Lesson 15-20 minutes

Explain to students that a descriptive paragraph should include descripitive words that puts a picture of a person, place, or an object in a readers mind. When a person is writing a descriptive piece, there should be very detailed observations, write what you see in your mind. All parts should be equal. The more detail the better the story. The reader should be able to envision the picture that you had in your mind as the writer.

Read the following paragraph to students to show an example of a descriptive paragraph.

As I sat in front of my green tray at lunch today I knew I was in for a treat. The smell made my mouth water. I could see the melted cheese over the rectangle shape I had grown accustom to. The top was a golden brown, the sides slightly browner but not burned. My carton sat on the side open and ready. The fruit in all its many sweet colors just beside the carton. My golden yellow kernels of vegetables still steaming how. I could wait no longer I had to dive in.

Have students get back in groups and look over their "lunch" paragraphs and see if they can help each other add more detail to them to give the reader a better picture.

Guided Practice 5 minutes

Pass out copies of the web map. Have students write Cherokee dance in the middle circle. Before the class watches the Cherokee Dance Youtube video tell them to come up with words or phrases about the dance as they watch it. Put this information in the surrounding circles. Remind them that the circle should not just contain what they see but also what they hear and how it makes them feel. Watch video.
Cherokee Indian Dance 3 - Cherokee Village-NC

Guided practice cont.. 15-20 minutes

After watching the video have students get back in groups and agree on their best 6-8 descriptions of the video and make a group web map. As a group have them write a descriptive paragraph.

While the class works walk from group to group and help them organize their paragraphs.

Summarizer 5 minutes

Before students go back to their seats each group should agree on one sentence that defines a descriptive paragraph is. They should write this complete sentence on a piece of paper and all students should put their names on it and turn it in.

Independent practice

Have students look at the Trail of Tears pictures closely. Tell them they are going to be reading about the Trail of Tears for homework. After looking at the picture and reading the text they need to write a 3-5 sentence descriptive paragraph about the Trail of Tears for class tomorrow.

Tell students we are going to start our study of the Cherokee Indians and this will help them get a head start on the topic.

Students can also find information about the Trail of Tears at the website below

Trail of Tears