Aug 29

Meeting the Natives 3-2.5

In this lesson students will analyze a photograph then write a paragraph to explain the initial interaction between Europeans and Native Americans.

Click here to download the full lesson with attached handouts. Meeting the Natives

Historical Background

“Most of the Native Americans were friendly to the Europeans at first, enjoying the trading relationship. Europeans traded with the Native Americans for furs in exchange for knives, guns and other manufactured goods. Trade relations between the two groups worsened when they were handled unfairly by the Europeans. In addition, as settlers moved west from the lowcountry to the back country they encountered more Native American tribes who, at first, moved farther west themselves. As Europeans continued to encroach on the territories or hunting grounds of the Native Americans around them, conflict arose over the ideas of land ownership and land use. Native Americans believed in communal ownership of the land and believed it could not be owned while Europeans believed individual ownership of the land and claimed it for themselves.

The settling of the town of Beaufort was the last straw for the Yemassee nation of the southern coast. The Yemassee fought back and for a year there was much violence and bloodshed between the native nations and the European settlers of South Carolina. However, not all native tribes resisted the Europeans. The Cherokee sided with the English against the Yemassee and their allies. The Yemassee War ended in a truce with both sides badly wounded by the year of hardship. The Yemassee were eventually driven out of the state. Disease also killed large numbers of the Native Americans in South Carolina after the arrival of the Europeans because the natives had no immunity to European diseases.”


South Carolina Social Studies Support Document, Grade 3, 2008 http://ed.sc.gov/agency/Standards-and-Learning/Academic-Standards/old/cso/social_studies/social.html


South Carolina Standards

3.2.5 Summarize the impact that the European colonization of South Carolina had on Native Americans, including conflicts between settlers and Native Americans. (H, G)



  • Students will analyze a photograph that shows Europeans interacting with Native Americans
  • The student will write a paragraph to explain the initial interaction between Europeans and Native Americans


Time Required                                                                    Recommended Grade Level

1 class period                                                                          Elementary


Lesson Materials

  • Arx Carolina” image from the Primary Sources for K-12 Pilot Project
  • Photograph Analysis Questions


Lesson Preparation

  1. Write the objectives on the board, so students will know the expectation.
    1. Download and/or print “Arx Carolina” from the  Primary Sources for K-12 Pilot Project



Lesson Procedure

  1. Explain to the children how historians learn much about the past through pictures. If there were no cameras 200 years ago, how are we able to have pictures from that time? (Artists drew pictures to show what was happening.) Explain to students that they will act as historians by studying a primary resource document, a picture. If they study it closely, it will provide them with much information about the new time period. Therefore, the goal for today is: The student will write a paragraph to explain the initial relationship between Native Americans and the “new” people, Europeans.


  1. Put each child with a partner. Tell the children they will be working with the partner to share his/her findings. Each of them is expected to be able to share the findings with the class.


  1. Project the picture above on the interactive white board, or provide a copy of the picture for each pair of children. Then ask the photograph analysis questions. Give each pair one minute or less to discuss the answer before calling on one child to answer the question for the class. Expected answers are in parenthesis.


  1. Summarize what was discussed today



Have students write a paragraph that summarizes the information they learned from the photograph analysis. Collect these paragraphs as an informal assessment of learning or allow the students to share their paragraphs with their partners. The partners may check for accuracy.


Lesson Extension Options

  • Students of differing ability levels are paired, so students may use the knowledge of others to learn. Students may draw pictures to help them remember the relationship between the Native Americans and the Europeans settlers.
  • Students with a strong understanding of the objective may peer tutor students having difficulty by revisiting the picture, circling the parts of the picture that show the answers to each of the questions, and helping them record their findings.


Digital Collections Information

This lesson plan is based on images and/or documents derived from the Primary Sources for K-12 Pilot Project collection available from the University of South Carolina’s Digital Collections Library.


To see other collections that may be helpful to your search, visit the Digital Collections homepage or visit SCDL’s collections.