History Unit 0-2

History Unit 0-2

Grade Level:

9, 10, 11, 12

Scope & Sequence:

Washington State History, Washington State History (Local Tribe History)


The students will be able to understand the workings of the Spokane River – prior to Coulee Dam


The students will be able to understand the impact of the Spokane River (prior to the Coulee Dam) on the Spokane Tribal People.

Spokane Tribal Values

  • Fishing
  • Ancestral way of life
  • Seasonal route
  • River camps
  • Store outside your door
  • Generosity
  • Land-environment
  • Community
  • Family
  • Spirituality


  • Fish weirs
  • Sustenance
  • Distribution
  • ńpoqińišcn for sharing
  • Canneries
  • Decimation
  • ńpoqińišcn for rivers, river terms, water, etc.
  • Invasive species
  • Agricultural

Lesson Plan

The teacher will:

  • Introduce vocabulary and definitions – students will make a list with definitions
  • Grand Coulee Dam History – (http://www.nwcouncil.org/history/grandcouleehistory)
  • Teacher will print this document and pass out to students.
  • Students will annotate the text as the teacher reads and discusses.

Guiding Questions:

  • How has the Dam impacted the State overall?
  • What are the Dam benefits?
    • Bridges across river
    • Electricity for Tribal members


  • Debate pros and cons of settling with U.S. government at this time.
  • Write a letter to Congressman in support of the Spokane Tribe for their Coulee Dam Settlement.


  • Give students a poem from Children Left Behind: The Dark Legacy of Indian Mission Boarding Schools to analyze and reflect/connect
  • Alexie, S. (xxxx). Ghosts of salmon jumping poem…
  • Stories of pre-Coulee Dam solicited from Tribal members

Materials Needed:

  • Article from website above
  • Map of original river route (not sure of word?)
  • Pictures of river before dams
  • Map of crossings locations


Lesson PDF Download

Related Videos

Related Images

Community Resources

Lesson Assigned To:

  • Social Studies Skills 5.2.1 Creates and uses research questions that are tied to an essential question to focus inquiry an idea, issue, or event.
  • Geo: 3.2.2 Understands and analyzes examples of ethnocentrism.


Common Core Standards

RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Spokane Tribal Standards