Assimilation Lesson Plan

Estimated Time

Four days, depending on time allotted for research, organization and construction

Necessary Materials

  • Computers with Internet access
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Video segments on this web site or DVD copies of the Indian Country Diaries films available at VisionMaker Video –
  • Selections of books and web sites listed in Recommended Resources below
  • Magazines for cutting out symbols and "items"
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Colored Pencils
  • Poster Board
  • Student notebooks


Teaching Procedure

  1. To prepare for the lesson, the teacher will need to cut pictures or "items" from magazines or write the names of "items" out on small pieces of paper. Make sure there are enough pictures or items from each bullet for all your students (for example, 25 students, 25 written religions other than Christianity). These items should include: 
    • Symbols of specific religions other than Christianity, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islamic, Taoism, etc.
    • Specific languages other than English, such as Spanish, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese, etc.
    • Land areas other than the United States, such as rural China, Afghanistan, Nepal, Turkey, Morocco, etc. 
    • Older conservative styles of clothing, such as ankle length dresses/skirts, trousers, top hats, or traditional clothes from other counties (example: burkas)
    • Traditional music from other countries, such as music from Indian, China, Iraq, Mexico, Peru
    • Pictures of different hair styles (hand out pictures of hair styles that a students would view as out-of-date or the opposite of what particular student is wearing, such as long hair vs. short hair, curly hair vs. straight hair)
    • Anything else you can think of that is the opposite of what students will value
    Do NOT include any pictures, written words or "items" of the following:
    • No modern technology: no cell phones, televisions, cable, cars, etc.
    • No make-up
    • No money
  1. Students will view segments of the Indian Country Diaries.  Students will write down in their notebooks their initial reaction and thoughts about the A Seat at the Drum and Spiral of Fire.  Students will write what they believe assimilation is and give two to three specific examples of assimilation. Have a class discussion about their questions or concerns. If students do not have any topics to discuss, items three and four contain questions that will get them thinking about the main topics of these films.

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