Lesson Plan

Indigenous Cultures of North America Research Project

Your group has been asked to present a comprehensive picture of an indigenous culture in North America. The presentation should include both written descriptions and images.
Gary G.
Classroom teacher
P.S. 80 Michael J Petrides School
Staten Island, United States
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My Grades 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

Focus Questions: What were the characteristics of indigenous cultures prior to European exploration? Were the early (pre-European contact) Native American cultures complex societies?

Learning Goal: Students will be able to recognize and describe the complexity of the indigenous cultures in America prior to European exploration and settlement.

Research Learning Objectives:
Students will be able to conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. [WHST.6-8.7]

Students will be able to gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. [WHST.6-8.8]

Students will be able to draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. [WHST.6-8.9]

Group Presentation Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. [SL.7.4]

Students will be able to include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points. [SL.7.5]

Students will be able to adapt my speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. [SL.7.6]

English Language Arts
using supporting evidence
Social Studies
Grades 7
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter

Think of the term “complex societies” and to try to describe it in your own words. What would a “complex society” possess? Students will enter ideas into Google Classroom discussion stream prompt.

2 Class Discussion

Activity: Conversing

Engage students in a class discussion:
What is the opposite of complex? What would a complex society be like? What are some characteristics that a society might have to be considered complex?
How does a society maintain order? How do they provide for their needs and wants? Is there an organized set of beliefs, traditions, and rituals?

3 Formative Assessment Poll

Poll the class on our focus question: Do you think the (pre-European contact) Native American cultures were complex societies?

Assign table groups a tribe:

4 Group Research Project and Slide Creation

Google Drive
Free, Paid

You will be presenting your research project in the form of a Google Slides presentation, which can be accessed in our Google Classroom and in each of your Google drives. Use the Indigenous Cultures of North America research template on the next page to record your findings. Be sure to include the following information in your presentation: • Background (history and settlement in North America) • Politics (who were the leaders? how were decisions made? what type of system did they use? what was the role of women and elders? how did they view concepts of power and ownership?) • Social Structure (family life, social structures, gender roles, life for children, housing, language, food and agriculture, and warfare) • Religion (monotheistic or polytheistic, deities/gods, ceremonies, connections to nature) • Culture (art, music, and oral histories) • Economy (currency, trade)

You can collect in your notes in a collaborative Google Doc then construct your Google Slides and add your research in using your own words.

Research: In addition to the resources available in class, you should conduct research using various Internet sources.

Suggested links are: National Museum of the American Indian: http://nmai.si.edu/home/ National Archives/Researching American Indians and Alaska Natives: http://www.archives.gov/research/native-americans/ National Archives/Archives Library Information Center/Indians/Native Americans: http://www.archives.gov/research/alic/reference/native-americans.html Native American Sites: www.nativeculturelinks.com Internet Sacred Text Archive: www.sacred-texts.com Native Languages of the Americas: www.native-languages.org

5 Presentations

Activity: Presenting

Student groups will present their tribes to the class. Other groups will complete peer assessment slips and offer the presenting group a glow and grow for feedback.

6 Reflectin

Students will reflect on their learning by recording a video reflecting on their progress and participation in the group project on flipgrid.