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Social Studies: The Cherokee and Trail of Tears Studies

April 27, 2021 | Melia McHugh

Second Graders were so excited to finally film their performances of the journey west along the Oregon Trail during a special Art class. They finally got across the mighty Missouri River after facing some scary moments. They also traveled the trail as a lonely toddler and miserable or brave animals. THEY MADE IT!


Currently, students are studying the Native American tribe, the Cherokee.


During this unit, students will look at maps and think about where the Cherokee originally lived and where they were forced to move. There are many resources available to them to explore this Native American society. Some of the topics they will learn and discuss include: family structures, what they wore (before and after contact with Europeans), celebrations, sports, housing, the political structure, and how they lived their daily lives.

Already this week, many students were surprised to learn about the family structure. They have learned that when a man married, he left his relatives (clan members) behind and that any children born to him and his wife belong to the mother’s clan and only consider her family to be relatives.


We are also transferring our learning into packets where we can write, draw, color and reflect on our learning.



Students are eager to continue to work in drama during Art. They will research the lives of the Cherokee and will also learn about, think, and act out the journey on the Trail of Tears. Ask your child what they are looking forward to learning in this unit or what they have learned so far. They are really enjoying our Social Studies unit this Spring!

Melia McHugh

Teacher, Grade 2 Forests Class

Melia McHugh first started working with young children at a private school that cared for children from infancy through third grade while in her early teens. She enjoyed her experience working with all age groups, especially her time during college when she taught arts and crafts to kindergarten through third grade students during the summer camp season. After completing a degree in Anthropology and working as a trainer in the Human Resources industry, Ms. McHugh returned to her first passion and got a degree to teach and work with children again. After seven years of teaching high school social studies, Ms. McHugh decided to stay home with her two children.

Ms. McHugh and her husband discovered Mustard Seed School when it was time for their oldest son to enter kindergarten. Soon after he started school, she started to substitute teach at Mustard Seed and later worked part-time in the Nest and as a maternity leave replacement in grades four and five. Ms. McHugh enjoys watching every child, including two of her sons, thrive in the community and environment that Mustard Seed excels at providing for each and every student. When not at work, Ms. McHugh enjoys spending time at the beach or outdoors with her husband and three sons. Ms. McHugh also loves history, reading, and resting.

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