Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Cultural Exposure

Thomas Lucey


This lesson explains why and how colonist attitudes towards the Native Americans and African Americans changed over time.


The student understands information presented orally in a variety of forms (for example, informational speeches, humor, persuasive messages, directions).

The student understands selected geographic, economic, political, and cultural factors that characterized early exploration of the Americas (for example, impact on Native Americans, war between colonial powers, the institution of slavery).

The student understands selected aspects of everyday life in Colonial America (for example, impact of religions, types of work, use of land, leisure activities, relations with Native Americans, slavery).


-CD player and music of your choice.
-Student Pen, pencil, and paper
-Easel and pad of paper to record student observations
-Assessment Checklist (see Assessment)


1. Students should have some understanding of the early events of America's colonization.
2. The CD player should be located centrally so all students may properly hear your music.
3. Easel pad and paper should also be central for student viewing.


1. Explain to the class that prior to the 1500ís people of all backgrounds got along very well. When the Europeans came to the new world they needed the help of the Native Americans to survive. As the Southern Colonists grew crops to increase
their wealth, they used the Native Americans and African to develop their crops. Inform the students this exercise helps demonstrate how the colonists attitudes may have been affected by everyday contact with the African Americans and the Native Americans.
Instruct each class member pull their own sheet of paper and something to write with.

2.Reminding students to listen carefully and follow directions, inform the students that you will play a minute long portion of music on a CD.

3. After listening to the music, the students are to rate it on a scale of 1-10 (1 lowest, 10 highest) and record their rating on their own paper

4. You will perform this activity 10 times in succession with the students evaluating the music ten times.

5. After the 10th time, use the easel pad to note the students' ratings for each time the music was played and discuss with the students any patterns in the 10 ratings they gave.

6. Discuss how their score patterns may be related to the contacts between the Colonists, Native Americans and Africans.

Note: This lesson also corresponds to the following Tennessee standards:

Tennessee State Curriculum Standards
Social Studies Grades 3-5
Standard 1: Students will exhibit a knowledge of history identifying and describing major events, people, and trends. To achieve this standard, the learner will:
Recognize how expansion of the new nation created conflict in North America.


Compositions will be written responding to what the Southern Colonists could have done to improve their relations with the Native Americans and the Africans.

Use the following checklist as a guide to student assessment.

---- The student listened to and followed oral instructions

--- The student's composition reflects an understanding of how colonial perceptions may have changed, using the class exercise to support their opinions.


The activity may be extended by having the class discuss responses to the following questions:
Why do you think the House of Burgesses and other governmental bodies did not include many native Americans or Africans?
If the President decides how we treat other nations, what is your opinion of term limitations?
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