RUE Episode 104: Comparing and Contrasting

We’re Comparing and Contrasting the interaction of Spanish and English colonizers with Native Americans – how their approaches differed and how they affected Indigenous communities with their presence and actions. We also celebrate the natural beauty of the Great Lakes region – where the French established themselves as trading partners with numerous Native American groups.

The natural beauty of the Great Lakes region is breath-taking. Image from Videoblocks aka Storyblocks
The rivers in the Great Lakes region provided incredible beauty, and also facilitated trade between Native American groups. The trade changed form when the French arrived, but trade itself had been going on for millennia.

Part of this celebration is the wildlife that was so important to the survival and spiritual life of the people in this region.

A moose cow and her calf cross wetlands along the Algonquian Trail. Image from Stealth Cam

Welcome to Episode 104 of Ramping Up your English. Our previous episode focused on the arrival and presence of French explorers and traders. In this episode, we compare and contrast the behavior of the Spanish and French colonizers toward the Native Americans they encountered. This necessitates the way their behaviors affected the indigenous people who welcomed them to their parts of America.

Watching Episode 104

Ramping Up your English is featured on RVTV in Ashland, Oregon. You can watch it as video on demand from Click here to watch Episode 104 without ads.

Episode Summary

We begin Episode 104 with a look at the natural world in which the Native Americans of the Great Lakes region lived and prospered. Producer John Letz shares some of the books that are used as resources for this episode. The books Canada’s Incredible Coasts, The Birchbark House, Hiawatha, and Paddle to the Sea are all featured in this episode.

The episode then shifts to the patterns we listed in how Europeans treated Native Americans and how they were affected by that treatment. This forms the basis for comparing and contrasting treatment by Spanish and French explorers and colonizers. Using this material, we review the language used to compare and contrast two or more things – the things being the actions by Spaniards and the French.

Language Objective

Use key words and phrases to compare and contrast the actions of the Spanish and French explorers and colonizers.

Use key words and phrases to compare and contrast the effects on Native American groups who encountered Europeans.

Characterize the treatment of Native Americans by European explorers and colonizers from Spain and France.

List some of the natural resources available to Native Americans in the Great Lakes region before the arrival of Europeans.

Describe some of the natural settings that exist in the Great Lakes Region.

Academic Content Objectives

List some of the Natural Resources available to Native Americans in the Great Lakes Region before the arrival of Europeans.

Identify the main geographic features of the Great Lakes and their watersheds.

Correlate the wildlife of the Great Lakes region with resources for the survival of Native Americans in the Great Lakes region.

Correlate the characteristic of the four seasons in the Great Lakes region and their implications for survival.

Identify some of the fauna that live in the Great Lakes region.

Characterize the actions of Spanish explorers and colonizers toward the Indigenous people they encountered.

Characterize the behavior of Native Americans toward Spanish Explorers and colonizers.

Characterize the actions of French explorers and colonizers toward indigenous people they encountered.

Characterize the behavior of Native Americans toward French explorers and colonizers.

Compare and contrast the actions of the Spanish and French explorers and colonizers toward Native Americans in their areas of influence.

Compare and contrast the effects of Spanish and French explorers and colonizers on the Native Americans in their areas of influence.

Videos featured in Episode 104

This episode features a video about nature in the Great Lakes region. Click here to watch the video.

Books Featured in Episode 104

I reviewed four books that relate to the Great Lakes Region and/or the people who lived here before Europeans came.

The first featured book – which I used as a resource for some episodes – is Canada’s Incredible Coasts by National Geographic. It’s written by Donald J. Crump (yes, that’s spelled with a C). Here are the ISBNs:

ISBN-10: 0870448293

The next review was of The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. It has won numerous awards, including the 2000 WILLA Award for Young Adult Fiction, Jane Addams Children’s Honor Book, and National Cowboy Hall of Fame Western Heritage Award Winner. It’s published by Scholastic Books. The ISBN for paperback is: 0-439-20340-6.

The next book is Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This is the book beautifully illustrated by Susan Jeffers. The ISBNs are:ISBN-13: 9780140558821

ISBN-10: 0140558829

It’s published by Puffin Books. Your local library should have it.

The fourth and last book I reviewed is Paddle to the Sea. It’s by Holling C. Holling. It was first published in 1941, but it’s listed as published in 1980 online. It’s still available online and maybe at a used bookstore. Also, I’d like to think that not every library discarded it. It’s worth asking about. The ISBN is:

ISBN-10: 0395292034

Paddle to the Sea is published by Sandpiper Publishing

External Links

I’ve created videos to facilitate the content-based approach to elevating English proficiency. These content videos allow viewers to build listening comprehension skills. The series on Native Americans are largely narrated by me. In the following video, we feature segments produced my other producers – which is also valuable in developing listening comprehension from a variety of sources. Click here to watch Number 14 in our Overview of Native American History.

American writer Wordsworth Longfellow wrote a poem about a Native American child growing up with his family in the Great Lakes area. You cancer the poem on Librivox as part of Click here for access to that audio.

Learning Materials Used in Episode 104

A Timely Note

This episode is produced during a time of high stress but renewed hope in the United States. The date of this page is 1-21-2021. Rain and snow have come to extinguish the wildfires, but the COVID 19 has killed over 400,000 Americans. We’re a long way from cleaning up the damage of fires and hurricanes, but we now have a president who respects science, so we’re back to reducing greenhouse gases.

President Joe Biden took office yesterday, so there’s hope again in our country. Americans got to see that white supremacists are as dangerous as they were believed to be for most of my lifetime. We saw that when they rioted at the Capitol and attempted to murder members of Congress. President Biden recognizes domestic terrorism and has committed to fighting it, as well as working for racial justice.

There are still millions of people misled into believing that this election was somehow rigged (despite absolutely no evidence), but the events at the Capitol on January 6th have convinced more people that following conspiracy theories is dangerous. With President Biden in the White House, at least the collection of conspiracy theories are no longer being promoted by the president. Major challenges are still very much with us, but Americans can breath easier knowing that truth is again being respected by the country’s executive branch. Challenges yes – but now there’s hope.

In terms of our thematic unit, the incoming Secretary of Interior is a Native American. Indigenous Americans are looking forward to having their voices heard. Update 7-12-21 – Secretary Deb Haaland is on the job now.

Next Episode

The Spanish and French were not the only major European players to explore and colonize the Americas. In our next episode, well see how the English became involved in America, and the effect their presence had on Native Americans. Click here to go to the Episode 105 page.