I am passing this on to one of my fifth grade teachers. I am impressed by how deep this social studies unit could go. Thank you.
----- Original Message -----
From: Kimberly Herbert
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 8:15 PM
Subject: Native American Unit
I am looking for information books or websites on the Navajo, Apache, Iroquois, and Nez Perce cultures (5th - 7th grade reading levels)
I'm designing a Native American Unit for my 5th grade Social Studies class. I am limited by our new curriculum; they have us on a timetable. It has been made pretty clear they want us follow it closely. I have 5 days to identify challenges, opportunities and contributions of Native American groups and to compare their economic patterns. I decided to choose 4 different Native American Nations, have 4 groups of students each research questions about the culture of one group before the European Immigration began including their shelter, clothing, food, trading, and art. Each group will present their information to the whole class. Then as we progress through history we will revisit these 4 cultures and see how they developed, the effects of the European immigration, and keep following them up to today. My reasoning is it is better to look at four real individual cultures, than to look at broad families of cultures because that tends towards stereotypes even with the best of intentions.
Later I want to start a similar thread with Spain, West Africa, Northern European (Irish maybe), and an Asian culture (I'm thinking Japan because of the interment camps in WWII, but the Chinese immigrants with the building of the rail roads and underground cities in the Northwest would be interesting also ).
I was raised with a very strong since of a family history - cultural history - and American/Texan history. I remember telling a classmate that Social Studies was dates and times not history. History was stories about real people. I want my students to know the stories and feel the connection to the past. Hope this makes some sense.