Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”

By Dee Brown

Subject: American History

Grade Level: 10th Grade


“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” is a novel that students will use as a reference to re-create Native American history spanning from the discovery of America in 1492 to the Battle of Wounded Knee. The conquest and settlement of the Western frontier by Americans had an enormous impact on the cultures of many Native American tribes. The events that are covered in this novel were viewed through a completely different lens by American settlers and Native American tribes. “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” is an attempt by Dee Brown to re-create the lens that Native Americans viewed the concept of “manifest destiny” while re-creating an oral history of events that re-shaped American boundaries from 1492-1890.

Goals and Objectives:

This novel will be used as a supplement to help students grasp the time period covered in the 1st Semester of American History. The textbook will continually refer to Native American history as it covers the time period from the discovery of America to Post-Reconstruction times. With that in mind, this novel will be used as a reference throughout the 1st Semester and will serve as a guide to re-create Native American history. Here are major lessons that link to events depicted in “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee:”

  • “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”: Chapter 1

Overview of Native American History from the discovery of America to Reconstruction. Chapter 1 really serves as an introduction to the novel and sets the stage for expansion from the East to the West Coast. Manifest Destiny is defined and explained in this chapter.

Lesson 1= Native American Culture and Location in terms of the geography of the United States. (Plains, Northeast, Southeast, etc.)

Lesson 2= Discovery of America and Christopher Columbus

Lesson 3= Eurocentrism and the Dawes Act

Lesson 4= French & Indian War, Proclamation of 1763 and Broken Promises

  • “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”: Chapters 2-4

Overview of various Native American tribes and how American acquisition of land after the American Revolution led to further conflict between Native American tribes (Apache, Navaho, Sioux, Cheyenne) and the American government.

Lesson 5&6= The American Revolution and The Treaty of Paris

Lesson 8= Jefferson and the Land Act of 1800

  • “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”: Chapters 5-End of the Novel

Overview of various Native American tribes in the Northwest, West, and Southwest and their attempts to resist American settlement of the Great Plains and areas even farther west. Ultimately, resistance ends with the defeat of Native Americans at the Battle of Wounded Knee. This event marks the end of the last free Native American and the beginning of reservation life.

Lesson 8= Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase

Lesson 9= Westward Expansion: Florida, New Mexico, Texas, and California.

Industrial Revolution and the RR

Lesson 10&11= The Civil War

Lesson 12&13= Reconstruction

Lesson 16= The Western Frontier and The Battle of Wounded Knee
Wisconsin Standards-

A.12.12 & A.12.13

  • Assess the advantages and disadvantages of selected land use policies in the local community, Wisconsin, the United States, and the world.

  • Give examples and analyze conflict and cooperation in the establishment of cultural regions and political boundaries.

B.12.3 &B.12.7 & B.12.9 & B.12.12

  • Recall, select, and analyze significant historical periods and the relationships among them.

  • Identify major works of art and literature produced in the United States and the world and explain how they reflect the era in which they were created.

  • Select significant changes caused by technology, industrialization, urbanization, and population growth, and analyze the effects of these changes in the United States and the world.

  • Analyze the history, culture, tribal sovereignty, and current status of the American Indian tribes and bands in Wisconsin.


  • Analyze issues of cultural assimilation and cultural preservation among ethnic and racial groups in Wisconsin, the United States, and the world.

NCSS (National Standards)-


  • Predict how data and experiences may be interpreted by people from diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference.

Time, Continuity and Change

  • Identify and describe significant historical periods and patterns of changes within and across cultures.

People, Places, and Environments

Power, Authority, and Governance

  • Analyze and evaluate conditions, actions, and motivations that contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among nations.

Global Connections

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