Lesson Plan

Social Studies Field Trip

East Tennessee History Center
Candy M.
Classroom teacher
Tennessee Technological University based at RSCC-OR
Oak Ridge, United States
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My Grades 5
My Subjects Social Studies

2.6 Identify the main purpse of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe in grade level texts that explore the early cultures in Tennessee

2.34 Describe periods of time in terms of days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries and ages and deiscriminate between ancient times and modern times, recognizing time is organized into distinct periods.

2.40 Analyze primary and secondary source maps, photographs, and artifacts for contradictions, supporting evidence, and historical details.

Social Studies
cultural understanding
Grades 2
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Pre Assignment

Students will scan the first QR code and watch the video. They will then discuss the video, and talk about what had learned during the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzrfB2EBBqU 

Then the students will scan the second QR code and read the information about the Corn Husk Masks, before we make them.


2 During Assignment

Activity: Assessing

One activity we would do:


In the table write down an event that happened in East Tennessean history or the name of famous person in history, next to the letter that the event or name starts with.



























We could discuss this when we were back in the classroom after the field trip.

Another is:

We will be walking around the Made in Tennessee Manufacturing Milestones exhibit. It is set up as a timeline and broke apart into certain years.  As you are walking around, I want you to pick a time period, or set of years, that you find most interesting. Your assignment is to describe that time period and the artifacts that go along with it. It may be as long as you want it to be. It must be at least a paragraph. If you have a phone or camera on you, you may take pictures of it and put it along with your assignment. Have fun!!!

Time Period__________________________








3 Post Assignment

Activity 1 "What Would You Buy"

Purpose: Students will utilize their knowledge and exploration of the early cultures in Tennessee gained from their grade level texts. Students will make economic decisions involving what daily and vital supplies they would trade their hard earned deer skins for if they were Indians living in East Tennessee in the early and mid-1800s.

Task: At the East Tennessee Historical Museum students learned about Indian culture in Tennessee in the 1800s. One of the things they learned was that Indians had a form of payment just like we do, but it was not paper money. They paid in deer skins. The teacher will review this information with the students and go over the vocab words listed on their “What would you buy worksheet?” The teacher will then assign each student a number of deer skins that they worked very hard to obtain. They will be given the Trade Goods and Deer skins information sheet to help them determine how many deer skins would get them what items. Students will also receive the “What would you buy?” worksheet, where they will think through what they want to purchase with the amount of deer skins they acquired and explain their reasoning for why they chose what they did. After everyone has completed this activity the teacher will call on students to share their answers with the class.

Trade Goods and Deer Skins

Trade the number of skins on the left for one of the items on the right.

1 skin

1 piece of steel

30 bullets

1 pair of scissors

1 knife

1 string of beads

12 flints

3 skins


Narrow Hoe

5 skins

Broad Hoe

1 axe

1 shirt

8 skins

1 yard of Stroud’s cloth

10 skins

1 sword

16 skins

White duffel blanket

30 skins

Laced broadcloth coat

35 skins

1 gun


What would you buy?

Pretend you are an Indian living in East Tennessee in the early 1800s. After 2 weeks, you have worked very hard and managed to collect 15 deer skins. You want to trade these for items you not only need for everyday life, but to help get through the upcoming fall season as well. What would you purchase with your deer skins and why?


Flint: a hard, gray rock used in ancient times to form a tool or weapon and when used with steel ignites a spark.

Hatchet: a small, short-handled ax used for cutting things

Hoe: a long-handled tool used to break up the surface of the ground by digging, scraping, and destroying weeds.

Stroud’s Cloth: a cheap, woolen cloth used for blankets and garments

Duffel Blanket: a woven wool blanket of medium weight.

Student Instructions

Activity 2 "My Civil War Journal"

Purpose: Students will be able to properly analyze primary sources in order to decipher historical details. Students will develop an understanding of what life was like for people during the Civil War. Students will interpret journal entries from real people who lived during the Civil War in order to imaginatively put themselves in those people’s shoes.

Task: At the East Tennessee Historical Museum students had the opportunity to read authentic journal entries written by men and women who were living through the Civil War in East Tennessee. Students got to read firsthand how rough and sad life became for everyday citizens and the struggles they endured during this time period. When back in the classroom, the teacher will read students one of the journal entries written by Elisa Bolli Buffat from Knox County on March 25th, 1864 to provide them a reminder. The teacher will then allow students to pick a couple of sheets of construction paper, which they will fold “hamburger style”, and place the sheets within one another like a booklet. Then the teacher will come around and punch holes along the creased side of the booklet. After this step, students will receive ribbon to loop into the punched holes to tie the pages together. When this is complete, the teacher will instruct the students to pretend they are people living during the Civil War and to write down their thoughts, feelings, or actions on each page in order to compose their own journal.