Friday, September 14, 2012

Native Americans and a Bit of Theme

 Native American Project

In my 5th grade class we have spent the past few weeks researching the 5 regions of Native Americans. The class was split into 5 groups and each group picked a region they wanted to study. As you can see by the map above there were more than 5 regions, we looked at the regions more commonly known. Great Plains, Eastern Woodlands, Southwest, Northwest Coast, and Middle America.

Each student took notes on each region's presentation. The students then wrote an essay on their favorite region and completed a poster and presented on their region. Several students came dressed as Native American's for their presentations, others created props. I also tied theme into this, see below.

An Igloo, drum, and Totem pole.
Below is the requirements for the project, rubric and outline for the essay.

Native American Stories and Theme

We also were discussing theme, I used Native American 
stories to tie the two areas together. There are tons of stories online that you can use, below are the stories that I used. The students read the stories, taking notes to track their thinking as they read, and them wrote what they thought the theme would be for the stories. We discussed their answers and I was amazed at how well they understood the stories and themes. Theme is a hard concept for students to understand, but my class this year seems to be truly understanding theme. YAY!