Lesson 1: Michigan's Early History

Grade Level & Subject: Middle School History

Lesson: Michigan’s Early History


State Standard and Benchmarks
Social Studies. Strand 1 Historical Perspective. Standard 1.2 Comprehending the Past. Students will understand narratives about major eras of American and world history by identifying setting and sequencing the events. Benchmark 1.2.9. Students will use narratives and graphic data to describe the settings of significant events that shaped the development of Michigan as a state and the United States as a nation during the eras prior to Reconstruction.

Lessons Objectives
Students will be able to:
• Identify early people in Michigan
• Identify where Michigan’s Indians lived
• Identify Michigan’s largest counties

Rationale/Purpose for Lesson
This lesson will determine what the students know about the history of the state of Michigan. Students will gain the knowledge they are lacking with regard to Michigan’s early history.

Resources/Materials Needed
• Michigan map for note taking
• Lecture notes
• Overhead and transparencies of lecture notes
• Chart paper

Begin by telling students they will begin a new unit about Michigan and more specifically the judicial system of Michigan. They must be able to understand the history of Michigan in order to fully appreciate the judicial system we have today.

1. On chart paper make a list of facts students recall about Michigan’s history. Keep the list to compare later.
2. Have students take notes on the lecture (Points to Remember) using the Michigan map.
3. Use map #1 – find the tribe of Indians living in the area.
4. Use map #2 – locate the county students live in to see if it has an Indian name.
5. Discuss the following questions:
a. How does our county compare in size to the three largest Michigan counties?
b. How does the ethnic makeup of our city compare to that of Michigan?
c. Does our class makeup show the same makeup as Michigan?
d. Are there members of Indian tribes whose history began in our area?
e. Are there members of those tribes still living in the area?

Remind students that Michigan development was influenced by many cultures including French, English, and Indian.
Guided Study/Homework
1. Create 10 interview questions to be used to interview the oldest person you know regarding memories of Michigan’s early history.
2. Use the information gathered to write a brief “history” of Michigan entitled “Michigan History According to __________________”.

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