Sunday, November 17, 2013

Native American Fun (and Writing too!)

The past two weeks, our class has had a TON of fun learning about Native Americans and how they used natural resources to survive and live off of the land!  'Tis the season to be thankful!

First, we researched the different types of tribes and their characteristics and the areas in which they settled using Lauren Bell's fabulous All About Native Americans unit that can be found {HERE}.  The kids were so excited to learn about the different Native American tribes and her unit was perfect to cover all kinds of content!  The suggested websites were a big hit with my kiddos!  Click the picture below to check it out her unit!


After we learned all about the different Native American tribes and the regions of the United States that they inhabited, it was time to learn about how the Native Americans used natural resources to survive.  THIS is what I brought in to "hook" my students....my husband's arrowhead collection!  Check it out below!  It really IS pretty impressive!


The kids went CRAZY!!  They wanted to know about each piece and what it was used for and how it was made.  This called for a little bit of RESEARCH!  First, I gave them some background knowledge about where to find arrowheads.  We discussed how Native Americans had to live high on a hill so that they could look for two things: 1) animals for food and 2) enemies.  We also discussed how they needed to live by a water source like a stream, river, or lake.  And in our area, we talked about how Native Americans would like to settle near the caves in our region.  We also discussed how this is a Primary Source.  Well, they wanted to know more about these COOL ROCKS above!  This is where my November Common Core Writing comes into play!  I can always trick my kiddos into doing a little bit of writing with some cool, authentic information!  But that's our little secret!  ;)

This was their writing task.  It is one of the pieces found in my November Common Core Writing Unit.


To cover some specific Common Core State Standards, we chose to use both books and technology (websites) to research.  We also worked in cooperative groups to research.  I checked out some books from our school library and also the public library to aide in our research.  The following are some websites we found helpful:





** WARNING: As with any websites, please review the website before showing students to make sure it is suitable for the grade level and maturity level. Also, check for inappropriate ads, links, or pictures.  These days websites change like crazy! **

Then, we used the following graphic organizer to write down facts/notes about Native American artifacts.  It is also found in my November Common Core Writing Unit.


Finally, the students discussed among their groups, then shared out with the whole group their findings.  We talked about what was most important and what we also thought was simply super interesting!  After a discussion that helped cover the Speaking and Listening Common Core Standards, we decided it was time to publish our research articles and sneak in some Common Core Writing (shhhh)!

We used the publishing papers from my November Common Core Writing Unit to publish our informative/explanatory writing in a report format.


This was probably one of the most engaging units we have done this year.  From start to finish, the students were 110% excited and ready to learn more!  It's definitely something they will never forget!  They asked me if we could keep my husband's arrowhead collection in the classroom.  I told them how important and special they were to him and they decided they could let him have them back - WHEW!  :)

So if you're interested in using Lauren Bell's All About Native Americans Unit or my November Common Core Writing Activities which cover 3 more pieces of Common Core Writing, you can check them out in our TPT stores!  Have fun!  :)


1 comment:

  1. Teaching an Native American unit is one my favs!!! We start our unit next week!!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Jamie

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