This issue guide immerses students in the decision-making process that Alabama’s Creek Indian tribe faced leading up to the Creek War of 1813 – 1814. The guide, designed for students as young as fourth grade, asks participants to consider the many challenges that faced the Creek Nation during this era, as well as the diversity of concerns within the Creek community regarding the conflict. For a more detailed description of the guide check out author Jessica Holdnak's blog post here, or explore the downloadable resources at the bottom of the page.

What is deliberation? 

Deliberation is a form of discussion where participants weigh the pros and cons of different approaches to solving a complex problem. Participants work through various tradeoffs or consequences of actions with respect and passion. Deliberative forums are an excellent tool for community members as well as students. Classroom deliberations provide students an opportunity to participate in conversations that challenge them to work through differences and find common ground. Over time, they develop the skills required for living in a democratic society: critical thinking, communication, judgment, and empathy. Practicing deliberation on real issues in the classroom, whether historic or current, helps students take on an active role as citizens. To learn more about deliberation in the classroom, check out this teacher resource from the David Mathews Center.

About the Project

This issue guide was developed in collaboration with the Charles F. Kettering Foundation as part of a research project on integrating historical and civic education. Partners include the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University; Clarke County Historical Museum; and the David Mathews Center for Civic Life. Special thanks to colleagues at the Alabama Department of Archives and History and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, as well as Dr. Kathryn Holland Braund, History Department, Auburn University. This issue guide is dedicated to Robert Thrower (1961-2017), Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Poarch Creek Indians. Robert was a passionate advocate for this project and a key contributor to its development.


All of our resources are free to use. Downloadable versions of the Issue Guide, Moderator's Guide, and Presentation can be found below. We also have printed Issue Guide booklets available at no cost, to order a classroom set of booklets email:

The Issue Guide

This issue guide explores the difficult choices Creek people faced in 1813. After a brief discussion of events leading up to the Creek War, students work through the benefits and tradeoffs of three distinct approaches: Preserve Our Culture at Any CostEnsure the safety of Our Family,  and Make the Best of Our Situation. The guide then walks the class through several major battles of the war, and the following Treaty of Fort Jackson and Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Moderator's Guide

This guide is designed to help teachers moderate the Creek War of 1813- 1814: What Would You Do? issue guide. It includes detailed notes about events before, during and after the war, example questions to help guide your classroom deliberation, and extension activities you can use in class or as homework.


This Power Point presentation is designed to be used along side the Creek War of 1813-1814: What Would You Do? deliberative issue guide. The presentation walks students through events surrounding the war using a timeline and displays the three approaches for students to follow along. It also includes maps of Creek territory, images of historical figures like Tecumseh, and depictions battles like the Battle of Fort Mims.

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