ToucanEd developed the Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Challenge Curriculum, a physical activity program for grades 5–8 that aligned to the State of Oklahoma’s Health and Physical Education standards. The development involved writing, editing, design, and evaluation. It was important that the curriculum also meet the requirements of the Chief and Elders, to honor the tribal nation’s history and traditions. The result was a virtual walking tour of the Cherokee Trail of Tears.
Using the Trail of Tears as a focal point for the lessons, students engage in weekly walking activities, log the number of miles the class has collectively walked, and track their “progress” along the trail. Throughout the lessons, students learn about Cherokee cultural practices through exploring traditional games and foods. By “walking” the Trail of Tears, students also are introduced to the role the Trail of Tears played in Oklahoma history and in shaping the Cherokee Nation today.