Four Cards – An Adaptation of the 4 Slips Activity for Wabanaki Studies
Freeport Middle School
Target Group: Middle School – at least an hour of class time
Objectives: At the end of this activity, students will be able to:
Demonstrate an initial understanding of effects of European Contact on the
Demonstrate an initial understanding of Wabanaki migration, removal and
Demonstrate an understanding of traditional Wabanaki values and be able to
compare these values with their own.
Demonstrate an initial understanding of the Wabanaki shift from a land-based
economy to a market economy.
HISTORY A1. Describe the effects of historical change on daily life.
A2. Identify the sequence of major events and people…
GEOGRAPHY B3. Explain how cultures differ in the use of similar environments and
ECONOMICS C1. Compare how different economies meet basic wants and needs over
Vocabulary: values, communities, economy, land-based economy, market economy,
reservation, treaty, removal, sovereignty, natural resource, epidemic, migration, neutrality,
The Wabanakis of Maine & the Maritimes
Wabanaki Studies website – Timelines:
http://www.leasttern.com/Wabanaki/Lessons/Timelines (there are also follow-up
lessons here at this site – use the navigation links at the top of the page).
Note to Teachers: This simulation should not be used unless you thoroughly understand the
historical and cultural materials. The activity will not work unless your class "buys into it." Be
prepared to make "on the fly" adaptations and adjustments as you play. You will need a quick-
witted and respected student to be your assistant.
The purpose of the activity to have students, through experience, arrive at some understanding
of the losses, betrayals, and choices faced by the Wabanakis after the arrival of the
Europeans. At best, this can done through generalizations. The activity should be followed by
a study of Wabanaki history, culture and worldview.
1. Purchase one large bag of small lollipops for each 4 or 5 students. The candy should
take a while to eat (alternate: small sucking candies wrapped individually).
2. Purchase several bags of Hershey kisses or similar tempting and desirable candy.
3. Have on hand black & red permanent markers, a supply of white paper and colored
pencils (one set per table).
4. Select one student to be your assistant – explain the activity to this student in detail the
day before. He or she has a specific role to play that may anger other students. Give
the assistant the French script (this print with his/her role highlighted). If possible, do
this the day before.
5. Make large signs showing the following dates or have available a board/easel on which
to write them: 1570, 1616, 1621, 1688-1759, 1720, 1763, 1794, 1930, 1955, 1980
6. Make name tags: English, French
7. Have available post-it, label or name tags for at least 3/4 of the class (can be left blank)
8. Print out (optional: laminate) the Values Cards. You will need 4 cards per student. After
printing, make sure they are fully intermixed. On ¼ of the Value Cards make a red dot.
On 1/8 of the remaining Value Cards make a black dot. Mix the cards together again
9. Print a copy of the blank History Circles diagram for each student.
Same-Day: (the student Assistant remains silent in this step)
1. Arrange the room so that students can sit in groups of 4 or 5. Place an open bag or a
basket of small lollipops in the center of each group sitting area (desk, tables, rugs).
2. Seat students in groups, leaving one table by the door empty. This table should have
3. (5 minutes) Explain that all individuals have personal values and that these values
are generally shared by close communities. Brainstorm some values that are important
in the students' lives (family, home, friends, food, safety, money, possessions,
health…). Display this list.
4. Explain that students will be playing the role of a People with some of the same values
they have and some different values. Tell them that Values Cards have been already
made to facilitate playing the game.
5. Give each student 4 Value Cards at random.
6. Explain that each person at the table is a member of a community and that the tables
are part of a larger community. Communities may disagree but the members of a table
group must reach consensus (agreement) on major issues. Members of a community
are free to visit with other communities for sharing, trading or conversation.
Communities may move. Values Cards may not be traded, but are shared among the
7. (3 minutes) Give students a few minutes to share the Values Cards in the table
groups. Your assistant and you should take some notes about what students are saying
about the cards.
8. Do not answer questions about the dots.
9. Teacher should put on the English nametag. Assistant should put on the French
10. English and the French should each take a bag of Hershey kisses. An additional empty
plastic bag is useful.
(1st Contact): Announce that the activity is about to begin. Tell students that they are the
People. The lollipops represent the resources available on the Peoples' lands. Explain to them
that they can only eat one lollipop at a time; they do not even want to take a new one until
the old one is gone. It is against their values to grab or touch the resources of others. They
must be patient. They must share. As you talk, your Assistant should continue to take notes of
what he/she hears students say.
(Students will want to take a lollipop at this point. You may find it necessary to redirect
students to the simulation. Ask them to remember what they said when they first saw
the lollipops – and what they said or thought after hearing the rules. Do not let them
immediately share out the lollipops – lollipops must remain in the container).
Place the sign for 1570 on the board where all can see it. Introduce the French and tell the
students that he/she has arrived from far away. He is in search of resources. The People are
happy to share their resources. Have the French move through the classroom, taking a few
lollipops - and also one card at random from each group. At each table he also should offer to
trade a lollipop for two Hershey kisses. At tables close to the door, he should say – "You are
on French land."
English moves through the room, taking a few lollipops in exchange for kisses. At one table,
you will remove a student at random and bring him/her to the door. He/she carries the Values
Cards, but leaves the lollipops.
(Epidemic): Put the 1616 sign on the board. Announce that the French has brought a new
disease to the community. Students with red dotted cards have not survived the disease.
These students must leave the activity, moving to an empty corner of the room.
They should take with them Values Cards that are SKILLS OR KNOWLEDGE. You will
They should leave other Values Cards, and all lollipops and kisses, with the Community.
As they do this, have the French take another few lollipops from each table. Students who
resist must be moved to another table closer to the door, taking Values Cards but leaving
English and French should offer each community a trade: 2 kisses, 3 or 4 kisses for
lollipop– be inconsistent. French should randomly give kisses to remaining players at
English and French should always return to opposite sides of the room.
Put up the 1621 sign. Announce that the Settlers have arrived.
Give the removed students labels (post-its, etc.), drawing materials and Hershey kisses. Show
them to empty seats, overloading at least one table and moving the People to the side. Instruct
take lollipops from the table supply. (Let them decide how many to take).
trade for more lollipops.
They are NOT to take or share the Values Cards.
Settlers at the French tables should read them. Other Settlers should ignore
Use the paper and pens to draw houses, farms, towns, roads and industries.
Spread these out on the table as they are completed (this is how land is taken).
(War & Treaty Period): Put the 1688-1759 sign on the board. The French moves through the
tables. Read random Value Cards aloud, saying "That's really great/interesting, etc." Then
trade 5 kisses for a lollipop.
The English move through the tables, ignoring the Values Cards and taking lollipops from the
resources to give to the Settlers. Move some settlers so that a few tables have little room for
the People. Offer 5 kisses for a lollipop.
Announce: There are troubles: War between the French and the English has caused the
People to have to take sides. You may also choose to be neutral or to make peace with the
English. Whatever you decide, you may remain independent or join forces with other People.
Have the French announce: "If you side with me in war against the English, I will share
resources with you and drive out the Settlers. I will respect your lands and traditions. I
will give you guns and ammunition. I will provide missionaries and priests for your
English should announce: "There is plenty of rich land here for everyone. The French
are going to lose this fight. They side with your enemies. Their religion is not a true
religion. Turn your back on them. Side with the Settlers and me – make a peace treaty -
and I will pay you for what I take. I will not take what you do not want to give. I only ask
that your try to get other People to agree with you."
Give the People a few minutes to discuss their choices. (Settlers are excluded from the
decision but may express their opinions. They will try to influence this decision – let them).
1. Peace treaty with English
2. Fight on the side of the French.
3. Leave their lands (go to the free table by the door), taking Values Cards.
4. Remain neutral (don't take sides)
5. Join forces with other People or remain independent.
Have each of the People declare a "side." The English and French will reward People with
Hershey kisses. English will move through the tables, taking lollipops from neutral
communities and those that have declared peace.
English moves to one table with neutral or French-siding People and says, "Your community is
being destroyed." People take Values Cards and move to the door (out of the game).
Announce: War is tough. There is not enough food to go around.
English and French move through the room taking lollipops and kisses. Settlers take lollipops
and draw more farms. Encourage them to draw houses and boats.
Announce: The People are free to leave their native lands and move to other lands. They
may do so now if they wish. Individuals wishing to migrate may move to the free table (by the
door). Take Values Cards but not lollipops and kisses.
Put the 1725 sign on the board. Announce: "The People have come on hard times during this
war. It is winter and the animals are not plentiful. Hunting and fishing lands have been taken by
the enemy. Many of you have migrated to distant Native lands. You are hungry and cold. Many
people, especially elders and children, are sick. But there is Good News. The English offer
you a treaty of Peace and Friendship. You will be guaranteed lands you have lost in the war,
even If you fought with the French." (Remind students that Settlers may not take part in this
People that agree to the Peace are rewarded with kisses by England.
Put the 1763 sign on the board. Announce: War is over. The Settlers and The English have
won the war. The French and the People who supported them must pay half of their lollipops
and candies to the Settlers. They are no longer welcome in the Land. Direct the People who
"lost" to the empty table by the door, bringing only their Values Cards.
French helper announces to the People at this table: I will be bringing in my own settlers. This
is not your land, but our land.
Settlers spread out into table spaces, stacking unused chairs if necessary. Bring the "dead"
People back as Settlers.
1. What challenges are being faced by the People?
2. What are the effects of the arrival of the English and the French ?
3. How do the People feel about trading lollipops for Hershey kisses? (Allow a few
minutes for groups, including the students who have left the game, to discuss this).
4. Do the People trust the French? The English? Why?
5. How do the People feel about the Settlers? Why?
6. What decisions have the People had to make? What motivated these decisions?
(answers will vary)
(Reservation Period): Put the 1794 sign on the board.
Announce: Settlers are busy cutting down the trees, digging up the soil in large areas,
putting up fences around the land, and killing off the animals that live there. The English sends
another message to the People: "It has been decided that you can no longer live here. But we
have found a place for you can go. Where you are going to live there will be plenty of food,
supplies and medicine. You may take your Value Cards and kisses, but no lollipops."
Force the remaining People into one table, moving any Settlers there to another table (they
can take some lollipops and any kisses). If anyone resists, tell him he may go to the "French"
table by the door.
Invite the People who left with the French to return, but they can bring nothing with them
except the Value Cards. However, they will receive Hershey kisses and access to lollipops if
French helper announces: You may stay here on your reserves. If you want to be a citizen,
you will have to give up your Values Cards. He begins to draw farms and towns to take space
away from the People.
Go around and review the Value Cards of the reservation People. Announce that you are
willing to pay Hershey kisses to People with Value Cards for the skills of basket making,
hunting and fishing or the Value of knowledge about the environment or its uses. Make these
payments. Tell Reservation People they can make their own rules for dividing the remaining
lollipops. Give the reservation one piece of drawing paper and one pencil.
Instruct Settlers to begin drawing Factories, Industries and Transportation methods. They must
now get approval to expand into empty space, but you will approve this most of the time.
Periodically, you will move a Settler and his/her drawing to the Reservation table, reducing the
free space there and crowding the People to one end. Do this a few times, but don't take all
(Boarding Schools, Adoption): Put the 1930 sign on the board. Again review the remaining
Value Cards. People with cards having black dots are taken away from reservation and
reserve. (Put them at tables with Settlers). They must leave their Values Cards and any kisses
behind. Explain as you do this that black dots indicate a terrible upbringing or orphaning, and
that it is important that children be removed from the reservations to be raised in English or
French homes where they can learn the correct language and customs.
(Assimilation off-Reservation): Put the 1955 sign on the board. Announce that times have
changed, many years have passed, and it is time to "improve" the lives of the People. A new
plan has been developed. The idea of the People all being crowded into one place where there
are no jobs and not enough food is NOT working. Now that they have learned the language,
anyone on a reservation willing to move to the city will find training and jobs. Lots of Hershey
kisses!! Tell students they may bring one lollipop with them when they leave. They must leave
their Values Cards behind.
Those students who choose to leave should be moved to a space in the front of the classroom,
and taught by the French how to walk in a line backwards. This will be amusing to others – let
Announce to the students who left and have been trained. We are sorry, but there are no jobs
for People who walk backwards! Take any lollipops from them, for "rent."
(Land Claims Settlement Acts): Put the 1980 sign on the board. Announce that through the
efforts of the People, the Government has changed its views on Reservations and the People's
rights. No longer will Settlers be able to take land and resources from them.
Give the Reservation People kisses, lollipops and drawing supplies. Encourage them to
develop their economies by drawing stores and power plants, and then to use the kisses to
purchase free land at any table. with your approval. People may "buy" drawings and land from
Settlers with kisses.
Allow this to play out for a few minutes, writing down the responses of the Settlers.
END OF SIMULATION – TIME FOR DISCUSSION
(Process): Have students return to original tables, taking any Values Cards with them. At the
tables, ask students to discuss these questions:
1. What happened to the People? How many died?
2. How do Settlers feel about the new role they took in the game? What was good about
it? What was odd or uncomfortable?
3. In what way did the "value" of the lollipops change during the activity? Of the kisses?
4. Did the importance of the Values Cards change during the activity? How?
5. What was taken away from the People?
6. What decisions did individual People have to make? What were the consequences of
these decisions? (expect unfairness, anger, bad decisions)
7. What was the importance of the Hershey kisses? (Students should begin to understand
the notion of unfair trade and that the kisses are used for enticement, then later as a
kind of money.)
8. What characterized the English's interactions with the People? The Settlers'
interactions? The French interactions?
(Product): Depending upon previous learning, student may or may not connect the activity to
the Wabanakis. Give each group a History Circles diagram. Have them place the activity
dates on the diagram, beginning with the outside. Writing on the left side only, have them
add notes about the key events that happened in the activity for that year. Groups should
report to the class as a whole. Reach consensus.
Help students to write actual events from the history of the Wabanakis by placing them on the
right side of the diagram. They should use The Wabanaki of Maine & the Maritimes and the
timelines found online at http://www.leasttern.com/Wabanaki/Lessons/Timelines . You will
have to guide students to label the 20th century dates correctly.
Outcomes: There is no way to predict what will happen during this simulation. You can
expect, however, for the following to occur:
1. Initial greed for kisses – for many students, this will wear off as they become glutted
2. Students will make decisions that they regret in buying and trading
3. People will begin to conserve the lollipop resources
4. Some Settlers will support the People; others will try to capture all of the land and
resources that they can
5. Many of the People will choose to migrate
6. Students will get angry and upset. You may have to stop the game at times to "defuse."
7. Some students will not get the point. Let those who do share their understanding.