Native American Cultures Teaching Guide
Exploring ancient and modern-day Native American cultures of New Mexico, Utah, and Washington.
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
The Native American Cultures Activity explores ancient and modern-day Native American cultures of New Mexico, Utah, and Washington. While engaged in this project students will gain a better appreciation of the richness and variety of Native American cultures.
In conjunction with the Earthwatch Institute, students will visit three field sites. Archaeological teams in New Mexico are excavating an ancient Native American settlement. In Utah, scientists are documenting ancient Native American rock art. In Washington, scientists are interviewing local Native Americans to gain a better understanding of the Skagit River and how to save the wild salmon.
Through on-the-scene field reports, photographs, and interviews with scientists and others on the site, students will discover firsthand how Earthwatch teams uncover historical clues and work to preserve important cultural artifacts. Field reports will keep students in contact with the explorer teams, so students can share in the excitement of archaeological discovery.
Students will also have the opportunity to send in their own questions to scientists and others on the scene. They will then conduct their own research and answer their own questions about past and present Native American cultures in their local areas.
- Discuss the importance of exploring and preserving ancient artifacts
- Use graphic organizers to order their questions and discoveries
- Read online texts from the Field Sites and Field Reports to build comprehension of the process of exploration and to gain an understanding of other cultures
- Demonstrate an understanding of content by participating in a question and answer discussion of their reading
- Use a variety of technological and informational resources to conduct research about their state's past and present Native American cultures
- Gather, evaluate and synthesize data from a variety of sources
- Communicate their discoveries in the form of a presentation or an informational essay
- Self-evaluate their own research and presentation
- Trace historical developments of a specific culture
- Identify the values, lifestyles, and cultures of varied Native American groups
Lesson Plans for this Unit
Lesson 1: Native American Cultures for Grades 4-5
Lesson 2: Native American Cultures for Grades 6-8
Lesson 4: Why People Move