PrintThree 50 Minute Class Periods

Students will utilize primary source material to identify three key ways that both Native American societies and our early government promoted leadership in their citizens.

  • Leadership Worksheet (Handout One)
  • Excerpts of the Constitution of the Iroquois Nation (Handouts Two to Four)
  • Excerpts of the Land Ordinance of 1787 (Handout Five)
  • Excerpts of the Northwest Ordinance (Handout Six)


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask students to picture in their minds someone whom they consider a great leader. This person can be a government figure, a person of importance in the community, a fellow student or someone they know. Ask them to think back on this person's life and decide how he or she came to be a great leader. Was it training, experience, tragedy, a good sense of right and wrong, love of others or some other reason? Have students share their ideas of how someone becomes a great leader.

  2. Using whole group direct instruction, provide a background for students on the following topics:

    • Iroquois or Hodenosaunee Nation: ("people of the longhouse")
      • What was the Iroquois (Hodenosaunee) Nation?
      • Who were its leaders?
      • How did the life of the Native American differ from that of the colonists?
      • In what ways were the two societies the same?
    • Northwest Ordinance
      • Why was the Northwest Ordinance so important to the development of the Midwest?
    • Ordinance of 1787
      • Why was the Ordinance of 1787 so important to the development of the Midwest?
    • Place students in groups of three to read the original source documents. Student A will be the reader, Student B the summarizer and Student C the recorder. Each will be given a portion of one of the above documents and a worksheet (see Handouts One to Six). Students are given approximately 20 minutes to listen as Student A reads the selection, Student B then summarizes the main ideas and Student C writes down the notes that the group deems important. All group members should contribute to the discussion and refine the answers that are placed on the group's worksheet.
    • At the end of the 20 minutes, those groups who had the same original source document will get together to compare the information they have compiled and answer the following questions. This exercise should take about ten minutes.
  3. What passages reflect the idea that this society felt leadership was an important quality?

    • What core democratic values were presented in this piece?
    • What benefit has today's society received from this governmental influence?

Each student is to do a quick write choosing a current leader, listing three characteristics that make him or her a leader, what core democratic values he or she represents and concluding with how our society supports his or her leadership qualities.

Cross Curriculum 

Students will explore various "Section 16" facilities in the school district and prepare oral histories of life in the schools.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Give examples of human interdependence and explain why group formation is one strategy for survival.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Analyze philanthropic traditions of diverse cultural groups and their contributions to civil society.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define and give examples of motivations for giving and serving.


If our society was as simple as the Native American society we could use this simpler form of leader. But we have so many more things to consider in today’s society. But this plan seems good and everyone would know their place