Lesson Plan - Native Americans in North Carolina

A Lesson Plan for Grade 8 Social Studies

By Jennifer Job, School of Education, UNC-Chapel Hill

In this lesson, students will create a PowerPoint presentation giving the history and impact of one of the six major tribes of North Carolina. They will show understanding of population movement, different perspectives, and the roles the Native Americans played in the development of the state.

This lesson plan is available as a formatted worksheet which can be printed and distributed. Download the worksheet by clicking the title: native_americans_k12.pdf

Detail from Virginia et Florida, 1610.

Time Required: Two 50-minute class periods (plus homework)


  • Computer lab with Internet access
  • PowerPoint software (or equivalent)
  • LCD projector for presentations
  • Instruction Sheet (.pdf)

Teacher Instructions:

  1. This activity is meant to follow an instructional overview of the Native American populations in North Carolina.
  2. Divide students into groups for each of the following six tribes: Tuscarora, Cherokee, Waxhaw, Meherrin, Catawba, and Hatteras*. (Note: if you have more than twenty students in your class, it is best to divide students into twelve groups and assign each tribe to two groups. *The Hatteras tribe will have fewer resources than others. Use only with students with advanced research skills.)
  3. Give the students the Instruction Sheet with the group members and tribe filled in at the top. It should take about two class periods to complete the PowerPoint.

Assessment: Have students present their PowerPoints in one of two ways. If there are only six groups, they can present to the entire class. If two groups worked on each tribe, the groups may present to each other until each tribe has been seen. The checklist on the Instruction Sheet may be used as a rubric.

North Carolina Curriculum Alignment

1.02: Identify and describe American Indians who inhabited the regions that became Carolina and assess their impact on the colony.

1.04: Evaluate the impact of the Columbian Exchange on the cultures of American Indians, Europeans, and Africans.

1.07: Describe the roles and contributions of diverse groups, such as American Indians, African Americans, European immigrants, landed gentry, tradesmen, and small farmers to everyday life in colonial North Carolina, and compare them to the other colonies.

3.05: Compare and contrast different perspectives among North Carolinians on the national policy of Removal and Resettlement of American Indian populations.