As a teacher, I am always looking to continue learning by and through writing curriculum that is specific to my students. I seek to motivate teachers interested in implementing my unit to be creative with the lessons, thus encouraging and fostering sensitivity and originality.
The main purpose of the complete unit is to motivate students to learn and understand those people who lived in North America, long before Christopher Columbus came to the New World. Students will discover the rich culture and ancient history of the Native Americans through text, illustrations, and small group work in reading, writing and drawing.
In this unit, children will be learning some basic knowledge about the Native American tribes, ranging from the Semiole of Florida to the Chilkat of Alaska. They will learn about the different kinds and uses of Indian shelters. They will learn to understand architecture as an artistic mode that expresses both interior and exterior space. They will also begin to recognize its relationship to the environment, cultural influences, and needs of the different tribes.
Students will investigate tepees, pueblos, and other traditional dwellings and explore life style and skills. A helpful Native American resource book for this unit is From Abenaki to Zuni, A Dictionary of North American Tribes, by Evelyn Wolfson, 1988. This dictionary gives tribal names, their meaning, location, type of dwelling, clothing, means of transportation and food.
It also addresses a brief history of the first Americans. However for better understanding the unit will focus two regions : Eastern Woodlands and California. Lesson Plans include District New Haven Content Standards and are designed for Grades 5 and 6.