We bought a subscription to Colonial Williamsburg's Electronic Field Trips (CW EFT) from Homeschool Buyer's Co-op for 2009/2010. We recently had our first EFT which was entitled "Emmissaries of Peace." Here's a short description of this lesson from their site: "During the turbulent era of the French and Indian War, the Cherokee people struggled to preserve their independence. Follow Cherokee leader Ostenaco and Virginian Henry Timberlake on their 1762 journey from Chota (the capital of the Cherokee nation)."
With CW EFTs, there are several different parts. The shows air live on a particular day, so you should do the background reading and activities ahead of time. (I didn't realize that, so we got that backwards this time.) With "Emmissaries of Peace", we read the historical background which was about the history of the Cherokees and particularly their interaction with Eurpeans.
Besides the very interesting background, we also had several activities to do. Alex and I really enjoyed the activity where we compared Cherokee and Colonial life. She read about the Cherokees and I read about the Colonies and we both did a presentation. There was also a lesson on Cherokee symbolism. In addition, there were 2 interactive online activities: one about negotiating a treaty and another about the Trail of Tears.
On the "live" day, there are actors in the studio portraying various people from the program. They play the show in 3 clips and during breaks students can email or call in their questions. They also have additional time to call in their questions after the show is over.
We really enjoyed learning about the Cherokees especially since Alex is Cherokee. She is a direct descendent of two of the primary men in this episode of history, Ostenaco and Lt. Henry Timberlake. Ostenaco's daughter had a child with Timberlake, and he is Alex's direct ancestor! The drawing at the top is from 1762 when Ostenaco traveled with Timberlake to London.
This program ended with the Trail of Tears. One of Alex's female ancestors survived the Trail of Tears and Alex's family still has the land she was granted in Oklahoma.
I highly recommend this program. The next program airs live on Thursday, Nov 19th (though members can watch the video segments before or after) and is entitled "A More Perfect Union." The site reads: "Witness the conflict and compromise that accompanied the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Join young eighteenth-century observers, unseen by convention delegates, as they travel from state to state tallying the vote. Learn about the ratification process and Americans’ growing interest in their fledgling nation’s new government."