Native American Survival: Natural Resources

Pam Levie's picture
Content Area(s):  
Grade Level(s):  
Grade Level Expectations:  
Social Studies › Third Grade › The concept of regions is developed through an understanding of similarities and differences in places
Lesson Plan Details
4-6 class lessons lasting 45 minutes each
Essential Question: 

1.    How do cultures lead to similarities and differences between regions?

2.    How does the geography of where we live influence how we live?

3.    How have the cultural experiences of groups in different regions influenced practices regarding the local environment?

Learning Objectives/Student Outcomes: 
Groups or individual students will choose a region and specific Native American culture. They will research what available natural resources led to their style of culture. At the end of the research Groups will research then make dioramas of specific tribal villages using many resources that have influenced lifestyles.
Key Topics: 
The students will demonstrate knowledge of the physical geography and native peoples of the past, by describing how American Indians related to the climate and their environment to secure food, clothing, and shelter.
• adaptations made depending on availability of resources

• geography in the US regions (NW, SW, MW, SE, NE) 

    ie:   rivers for transporation and food,  

         grasslands for basketry and buffalo for all types of survival,

         SW few trees so the homes are made from adobe brick

         NW forests totem poles, canoes, plank houses

wide variety of grade level readers about Indian groups from around the nation maps of regions identifying natural resources materials for the dioramas (can be brought from home too)

Prior to instruction, the teacher needs to gather a wide variety of books and or web sites about Native American tribes from many regions of the country. From the available books choose tribes of Native Americans with sufficient available information. 

Locate maps of major native Native American settlements prior to European influence.

Locate maps of regions and their natural resources.

Determine best working groups. 

Learning Experiences and Activities: 

In this lesson, the students will choose a region and a Native American tribe to research. 

The students will take notes on the  infromation that identifies lifestyles depending on the resources available. 

Students can write an article or research paper including information about shelter, clothing, food, transportation, tools, art and religious forms and other areas which depend on available resources. 

From the earlier work, the students will make dioramas of the villages of the tribes studied. 


 Students will observe other students' villages and be able to compare ways Native American societies used the natural environment for food, clothing, and shelter. 

As an extension for students to use higher critical thinking skills they could identify a potential site for an Indian town based on the presence of natural resources in the area.

Colorado 21st Century Skills
Critical Thinking and Reasoning: 
B. Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project
C. Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions
Information Literacy: 
B. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media
E. Understand and use technology systems
G. Troubleshoot systems and applications
H. Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies
A. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media
D. Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems
C. Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning
A. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
B. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
C. Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues
Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 
B. Conduct research using acceptable research methods
C. Understand different research approaches
Find and Use Information/Information Technology: 
A. Select, integrate, and apply appropriate technology to access and evaluate new information
C. Provide citations for resources
Creativity and Innovation: 
A. Demonstrate intellectual curiosity
Global and Cultural Awareness: 
A. Appreciate the arts, culture, and humanities
C. Recognize the interdependent nature of our world
Work Ethic: 
A. Plan and prioritize goals
B. Manage time effectively
E. Take responsibility for completion of work
F. Act with maturity, civility, and politeness
G. Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability
Personal Responsibility: 
A. Balance self-advocacy with the consideration of others
D. Take responsibility for actions
A. Work effectively with others
C. Cooperate for a common purpose
D. Use teamwork and leadership skills effectively
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