Native American- European Contact in Colonial Times

Home Education Unit Plans Native American- European Contact in Colonial Times

Native American- European Contact in Colonial Times

Native American-European Contact is a cross-curricular lesson plan that explores the nature of the first encounters between Native Americans and Europeans in colonial Pennsylvania. Drawing on the concept of worldview, students learn to think critically about the cultural differences between Europeans and Native Americans, and how those differences shaped interaction and potential misunderstandings between the groups as they negotiated trade and diplomatic relationships.


17th century
18th century
Colonial period
Native American

Big Ideas

Historical Context
Pennsylvania History

Essential Questions

How has social disagreement and collaboration been beneficial to Pennsylvania society?
What role does analysis have in historical construction?


  • Textual evidence, material artifacts, the built environment, and historic sites are central to understanding the history of Pennsylvania.
  • Conflict and cooperation among social groups, organizations, and nation-states are critical to comprehending society in the Pennsylvania. Domestic instability, ethnic and racial relations, labor relation, immigration, and wars and revolutions are examples of social disagreement and collaboration.
  • Artists often address social issues or concerns in their artwork.
  • People use analytic processes to understand and evaluate works of art.


  • Summarize how conflict and compromise in Pennsylvania history impact contemporary society.  
  • Analyze and interpret the work of a contemporary artist who addresses social issues or concerns.

End of Unit Assessment

Have students create a presentation or write an essay comparing and contrasting how artwork and literature depict the relationships between the Native Americans and Colonists. Students should use the engravings and pictures from the unit as well as the letters and journals.