Indigenous Peoples: Then and Now

Lesson 2


Explain how the arrival of European explorers and settlers impacted Indigenous people. 

Readings and Materials

  • Book: The People Shall Continue by Simon J. Ortiz  pp. 7 – 14

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Target Task


Writing Prompt

How did the arrival of European explorers and settlers impact Indigenous people? 

Mastery Response


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Key Questions


  • What happened when the Spanish men arrived? What did the Spanish men want? How did they affect the People? 

  • What happened when the English, French, and Dutch men arrived? What did they want? How did they affect the People? 

  • How did the People defend themselves from the European men? 

  • How long did the People fight to defend their land?



destruction     (n.)

the act or process of destroying something

heedless     (adj.)

describes someone not paying careful attention

forceful     (adj.)

done with physical force

dreadful     (adj.)

very bad or unpleasant

aim     (n.)

to have a specific goal or purpose

fertile     (adj.)

able to support the growth of many plants

colonial     (adj.)

of or relating to a colony



We use the words European explorers and settlers to identify the groups of people who were involved in the often violent removal of Indigenous people from their land. Since all texts refer to wide spans of time in which land was violently taken, we often bucket the European explorers and westward settlers together. We acknowledge that the words "explorers" and "settlers" do not adequately capture the horrors both groups of people imposed on the Indigenous People. In later grades and units, students will learn in more depth about the true horrors the Indigenous People faced at the hands of the Europeans and settlers.

Enhanced lesson plan

Enhanced Lesson Plan

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Common Core Standards

  • RI.3.3 — Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

  • RI.3.7 — Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

Spiral Standards