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Vocabulary: Unfamiliar words are defined at www.wisconsinhistory.org/dictionary

Student Activities:

  • 1.

    What are Woodruff’s main points? Name four good things he sees in the school.

  • 2.

    If Woodruff sees these things as good, what must he think is bad? What assumptions

does he have about Indians?

3. What problem or issue does Woodruff see being solved by these schools? How does he know that this is a problem?

  • 4.

    Whose views of the situation are not represented in his article?

  • 5.

    Woodruff states that order is the first law of civilization (p. 1). What does he mean? How

does Woodruff measure order at Tomah?

6. What inferences are made about Indians? About whites? Why is his description of order different for girls than for boys?

7. One purpose of Indian education programs was to better prepare Indian children for the “duties, privileges, and responsibilities of American citizenship.” What are the duties and responsibilities of American citizenship? What do people need to know or do to be citizens? How did you learn these things in your own life?

8. Think about the qualities of citizenship you identified in the previous question. Would the education described by Woodruff prepare someone to be an American citizen? Why or why not?

9. Who gets to decide what qualities and activities are appropriate and considered “American?”

10. Browse through the regulations in the “Rules for Indian Schools…” document. What assumptions must the author of those regulations have made about Indian children?

11. Is it better to preserve one’s own culture and live outside mainstream society, or to give up one’s language and ways of life to be assimilated? Is there a middle path between these two? Support your conclusion with a list of “Because…” statements.

8th Grade Standards Addressed: 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.10, 8.11, 8.12

12th Grade Standards Addressed: 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.9, 12.12, 12.13, 12.18


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