5th Grade – Unit 3 – Lesson 1

5th Grade – Unit 3 – Lesson 1

Grade Level:


Scope & Sequence:

Civics, US History (Pre-Colonial Period to Independence)


Introduce and discuss framework  and purpose of the Spokane Tribal Constitution


The students will be able to:

Explain the purpose of Tribal constitution and what it accomplishes for the Tribe.

Analyze articles within the Spokane Tribal constitution

Spokane Tribal Values








Lesson Plan

Present the Spokane Tribal Constitution. Hand it out to students and have them discuss any notices or wonderings.

Give background information:

The is a fundamental document for the Spokane Tribe. It is their tribal constitution. As we discuss the information surrounding the purpose of this document, please write your questions about it down. The Spokane tribe adopted the Constitution in 1951. The reason being so the Tribe could be recognized and heard in Washington D.C. with the US government. The United States government would not allow the Native Americans to be heard or present unless they had a government structure similar. The Spokane Tribe wanted to discuss items and file land claims. The adoption of the Spokane Tribal Constitution was a very rushed project. With a purpose because they wanted be heard by the US government, quickly. Since then, the constitution has been ratified and adapted.

Discuss the purpose of the Spokane Tribal Constitution.

This document’s purpose was to allow the Spokane Tribe opportunity to be heard and talk to the United States government. Because the Spokane Tribe is a sovereign nation, the United State government would not listen to them until they had a form or resemblance of a government. The first step to this was to create a constitution.

Analyze the constitution:

Do an overview the “articles” of the constitution. Give title and example of what that title means.

Discuss ideas and real life ways the tribe exercises these articles. Do the first 3 articles together, then have students group up and complete the rest of the articles (articles 4-15 as well as the amendments – the amendments are key to the understanding of how the constitution changes for the needs of the tribe based on the vote of the membership). They can present their summary and examples.


How does the STOI (Spokane Tribe of Indians) continue to follow the constitution and how does it benefit the Tribe?


  • Student responses on bubble map. Index cards students summarize sections of Constitution.


Students choose more articles in the constitution to read and learn about. They can write a summary of those articles.

Use of specific vocabulary – higher level students can use vocabulary from constitution for summary.

The students can continue the extension by reaching out the Spokane Tribe to discuss the articles.

Materials Needed:

Copy of Spokane Tribal Constitution


Create a class bubble map to outline articles of the S.T. Constitution. Add student responses that summarize each article. In the center of the bubble map write: Spokane Tribal Constitution. Each outlying bubble should hold learning and purposes of the constitution.

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Lesson Assigned To:

Civics 1.1.1

Social Studies Skills 5.1.1


Common Core Standards

5.RI.4 5.RI.2 5.SL.1d 5.SL.2 5.L.1 5.L.4a

Spokane Tribal Standards