Article Analysis

Detroit’s history begins with the Indigenous tribes that first lived here.  As with the history of this country overall, wars and battles were fought between new settlers–the French and the British–and the first peoples of this land that determined the future of our city. In this activity you’ll read a local news article and consider how civic engagement is defined given historical context.

Materials needed:

  1. Split into groups of up to five people.
  2. Select two recorders to take notes on behalf of the group.
  3. Brainstorm with your group a list of all the ways someone can be civically engaged; the first recorder should write these things down.
  4. Read the introduction and first section (First contact: French, British, and Native Americans in early Detroit) of the Model D article A cultural history of Metro Detroit, Chapter One: Native Americans by Mickey Lyons. 
  5. As a group, outline the key moments in the history outlined in the section and discuss the possible feelings and reactions of people within the excerpt– be sure to explore everyone’s perspective. The second recorder should take these notes.
  6. As a group, make an argument supporting or opposing the following statement: War or battles can be an act of civic engagement.
    1. Decide: Will your groupsgroups support or oppose the statement?
    2. Develop: Two to three supporting arguments for your groups decision.
  7. Report out