As you know, the Trail of Tears marks one of the most controversial actions during Andrew Jackson's presidency - and an unfortunate study during any Native American Cultural unit.
Blending both reading and social studies, I do a sequence activity summarizing the dreaded Western march of the Cherokee Indians.
Together, we do a close reading of an article on the Trail of Tears, sharing our thinking in the margins and circling key sequencing words In the beginning, next, finally.
Using this information, we number the the travel sequences (6) and students work in pairs to summarize each event on a slip of square paper. Students than recreate the journey on a map and place the sequenced events on it, in the order that they occurred.
Students gain a lot of insight during this activity and come away from the experience with a lot of knowledge and empathy for the Cherokee people.