Lesson Plan

Native American Cultures: What is an "Indian?"

Students use information from a BrainPop video to create and present a slide show
Karyn W.
Technology Integration Resource Coach
Orion Alternative School
Redwood City, CA
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will be able to

  • Describe orally and pictorally different aspects of Native American life
  • Create and present a slide show that highlights facts about Native American life
English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 3 - 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Students will read a primary document about one Native American tribe being studied to find details about what they looked like and where they lived. Then, using Brushes 3, students will create a portrait of a typical member of the tribe as they refer back to the text for details. This activity will help students make a personal connection with the people being studied. The portrait created will be used later in this unit of study as part of a slideshow. Estimated time: 1 hour

2 Direct Instruction

The teacher will assign the class the task of understanding why the term "Indian" is incorrect when referring to the first inhabitants from North America. The teacher will divide the class into "tribes" and have them work in small groups to record their findings on scratch paper about different aspects of Native American life based on their viewing of the BrainPop video on American Indians. The teacher will monitor the viewing of the video to be sure students pause the video as they take notes. Estimated time: 25 minutes



3 Guided Practice

Free to Try, Paid

Each classroom "tribe" must take the quiz that accompanies the American Indian video. Students will be required to review the video again if they miss more than one question. Students will fill in a graphic organizer using Popplet as they re-watch the video to record the differences between tribes. Students will be directed to compare their findings with another classroom tribe to get feedback and then make revisions. The teacher will meet with individual student tribes and give feedback during this process. Estimated time: 45 minutes

4 Independent Practice

Students will work independently using the Explain Everything app and will be assigned the task of:

1. Importing their previously created Native American portrait from Brushes 3 into a new slide.

2. Recording a voice-over that describes three facts about the Native American they illustrated. The facts stated are based on the findings the student recorded in their Popplet organizer.

3. Presenting their completed slide to the whole class.

Estimated time: 45 minutes

5 Wrap-Up

As an extension activity, students can use the Google Earth app to locate the area where the tribe they studied lived. They can make a screen shot of this area and import it into their Explain Everything slide show as an additional slide with appropriate labeling.


Estimated time: 15 minutes