Sunday, October 4, 2015
Native American Cultural Regions
Recently in social studies we learned about Native American cultural regions. The kids read about the natural resources available in different regions and how the people in that area used the specific resources in their area to hunt, build housing, tools, clothing, jewelry and other daily necessities.
The kids took notes on each region including the climate, animal populations, trees/plants, and other resources that could be found in each region.
At the end of the chapter I decided to find some pictures of different artifacts from the 7 regions we studied and see if the kids could identify which region they came from using what they learned and using their notes if needed (a good incentive to take good notes!).
I found 20 different photos from a variety of online sources, numbered each one, printed and laminated them. I used them just like task cards. I posted them around the room, and had the students circulate around the room trying to identify the region for each item on the photo card.
I knew this would be a good activity, but I had no idea how much deep thinking and analysis would take place! As the kids worked I helped as needed but mostly observed and overheard so many good discussions! Many of the artifacts in the pictures weren't the exact ones we read about in our book, so they really needed to use clues from the photos to identify the object and region.
It was fun to hear kids trying to identify what the different objects could possibly be made from, then trying to narrow down the possible regions based on which regions naturally had that material. For example, in the coat above photo they first decided that it was some sort of cape or coat. Then they discussed what typed of animals it was made from. Then they had to think about which climate it would be needed in.
The analysis of the artifacts and the critical thinking that happened during this activity was so fun! The kids loved trying to figure each photo/artifact out. Like I said, I thought it was a good idea for an activity, but I had no idea how much the kids would get into it and how much higher level thinking would take place during the activity.