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Read Kansas! Middle School - M-07 Indian Removal to the Great American Desert

Explorer Stephen Long described the lands west of the Mississippi River as the "Great American Desert." This description was the basis for Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830. Many American Indian tribes from the eastern United States were removed to reservations in this region. There were differing opinions expressed on the issue of Indian removal. Middle school students will read some of these opinions as expressed in speeches and will determine the main ideas from those speeches. These activities are designed to be done over three days but can be adjusted according to classroom needs. Select each image to see a PDF with the front and back of each card.

Indian Removal to the "Great American Desert" - M-7
mp3 audio

M-7 Indian Removal to the "Great American Desert" PDF
mp3 audio

American Indian Response to Removal
mp3 audio


Lesson plan

Kansas History, Government and Social Studies Standards:

Standard #2: Individuals have rights and responsibilities.

  • 2.2:  The student will analyze the context under which significant rights and responsibilities are defined and demonstrated, their various interpretations, and draw conclusions about those interpretations.

Kansas College and Career Ready Standards:

  • RI.7.5:  The student analyzes the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.
  • RH.6-8.6:  The student identifies aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).