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Study America Saturday ~ The Trail of Tears

Sorry to have abandoned you on the Study America Saturday posts. I was out of town one weekend and last weekend I had absolutely nothing to share nor time to do a post. This weekend I had this post prepared, but hadn't had time to put on the pictures. So, here it is, better late than never. I just had to share our history week, even if it is late.

On Wednesday, my kids and I traveled to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, to the Cherokee Heritage Center. The Trail of Tears, a result of the Indian Removal Act, ended in Tahlequah in 1838. Living in Oklahoma gives us a plethora of field trip opportunities when we are studying Native Americans.

To prepare for the trip, Dawson read the book The Trail of Tears by Alan Pierce.

He did a photo analysis of "The Trail of Tears" by Robert Lindneux. Did you know that there is no firsthand pictorial accounts of The Trail of Tears? Every picture or painting you see is one done by at least a secondhand perspective.

Dawson also did a map study by taking the different trails followed by the indians and drawing them onto a modern US map.

And then it was time for the field trip. Wow. What a place. We learned about the Cherokee Indian culture, both past and present, by going on a guided tour of the Ancient Village.

Blowing handmade darts. She was a good shot!

Making arrowheads for weapons.

The sign of a Cherokee basket is the signature weaving on the bottom.

This is the summerhouse with the winter house behind it. See how it's open at the top for air circulation?

The door of the winter house twists and turns to keep the cold blasts out. It's also buried into the ground and has a domed roof for the smoke to escape from the fire. The winter houses are round to keep them warmer. Is that why igloos are round?

We took a self-guided tour through Adam's Corner Village, a replica of buildings in the Cherokee villages after their communities were established. There is even a real house built by a Cherokee woman upon her acquisition of the land during the Land Run, that was donated by her granddaughter.

Dawson yelled at me to come over to this church and when I got there I found him and Brynne doing this.

The horse in the top photo is in the direct lineage of a horse that traveled The Trail of Tears.

Finally, we walked through The Trail of Tears Museum. I took a couple of photos (against the rules). I wish I could have taken one of the white statue room (but there were too many people in there). It was a dark room, with winter trees painted on the walls, the sounds of blistering winds, and white statues of indians on the Trail. There was a statue of a mama on the ground sheltering her baby and one of a pile of rocks containing the remains of a mama with her son being pulled away from her grave site by an elder. It was so moving!

Dawson ended his week by watching a boring video (after you've seen things up close and personal, videos are booooorrring!) and doing a notebooking page.

THIS, my friends, is what homeschooling is all about.


  1. Lucky Ducks! We were just discussing the Trail of Tears today! Thank you for the pictures the kids enjoyed looking at them. The same picture on the cover of the book we used it as an appreciation lesson. Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Wow, what an awesome field trip! Thank you for sharing the fantastic photos and your learning experience. We would love to see something like this for our American History next year.

  3. Such a sad, sad time for the Native Americans! The field trip looks very educational! (Dawson seems SO TALL in that photo! LOL) LOVE the church photo too!


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