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Native Americans


Third Grade Thematic Unit

This Thematic Unit is only an example of what can be taught.

Sunset in the desert




Goals & Objectives


Knowledge Base


Lesson Plans


Advanced Organizers


Unit Test


Authentic Assessment




ClipArt Sites Resource Sites Native Homes Contact


Children need to know about the history of North America, as well as learning about the Native American culture.

h By using the Internet, students can distinguish between the different Native American tribes.

h They can understand the impact made by Native Americans in the art community.

h Students can learn about Native American music,  dress and those social traditions that continue to be used in modern day society.

h Students can learn about foods associated with the Native American culture.


Annual Goal

The student will increase his/ her understanding of the Native American culture.


h After learning Native American art, the student will enhance his/ her fine motor control skills, by completing one hands-on project daily. [Evaluation: Teacher Observation, Portfolio, Demonstration, Student Product]

h After participation in a role-playing activity, the student will display the historical significance of the Native American's major events with their contributions to specific events with group demonstrations. [Evaluation: Teacher Observation, Self-Monitoring]

h After completing research via the Internet, the student will be able to use appropriate software to discuss a self-selected Native American tribe, by giving five unique facts. [Evaluation: Controlled Project Demonstration, Teacher Observation, Hands-on Exam]

h After investigative research, the student will be able to present ways the modern culture is similar to and different from the culture of Native Americans with the general classroom peers during weekly discussions by listing five similarities and five differences. [Evaluation: Demonstration, Student Discussion, Portfolio]

h After a hands-on dictionary and encyclopedia informational lector, the student will be able to recognize other resources where additional information on Native Americans can be located with 80% accuracy. [Evaluation: Controlled Project Demonstration, Written Exam, Hands-on Exam]

h After a class lesson with the Language Arts teacher, the students will develop various types of writing including but not limited to narrative, informative, and persuasive by modeling one sample to discuss Native American information. [Evaluation: Written Essay, Student Product, Student Self-Monitoring, Portfolio]


Knowledge Base

h One in every 130 people living in the United States to day is Native American.

h During World War II, the Japanese Army could not break the secret code of the U.S. Military.  The code was simply a group of Navajo volunteers speaking their Native American language on their field radios.

h Wolves, long revered by Native Americans as a symbol of truth and knowledge, are intrinsically peace loving and there has not been a documented case of a healthy wolf killing a human in North America.

h The names of over 50 percent of the states in the United States came from Native American languages.  Examples: Utah is the Ute tribe's name for themselves, Kentucky means planted field in the Iroquois language, and Ohio from an Iroquoian word meaning "Great River."

h Peace pipes are among the most sacred Native American objects being used in ceremonies.  It is believed, the more decorated the pipe, the stronger its power.

h Native American ways of saying...I Love You:

 Sheth she~n zho~n - Apache

 gvgeyvi - Cherokee
Ne mohotatse - Cheyenne
Chiholloli - Chickasaw
Nu' umi unangw' ta - Hopi
Konoronhkwa - Mohawk
Ayor anosh'ni - Navaho
Techihhila - Sioux
Tom ho' ichema - Zuni

h The Native Americans of the Plains made most of their clothing out of tanned animal hides.  They made their finest clothes from the skins of antelope or mountain sheep, their everyday clothes of deer or elk skins.  Very often they decorated them with special designs of porcupine quills, and later, with trade beads.

h California has the largest population of Native Americans.  2000 Census (627,600)

h The Cherokee Indian Tribe is the largest tribe in America.

h The largest reservation is the Navajo located in Ariz., N.M., and Utah.

h There are more than 550 federally recognized tribes in the United States.

h The music of Native North Americans is primarily a vocal art, usually choral, although some nations favor solo singing.

h For the Native American, song is traditionally the chief means of communicating with the supernatural powers, and music is seldom performed for its own sake; definite results, such as the bringing of rain, success in battle, or the curing of the sick, are expected from music.

h The Innuit tribe lived in the Arctic/Sub-arctic regions of the country.  They lived in igloos.  They ate moose, bear, deer and fish.

h The Lenape tribe lived in the Eastern Woodlands of the country.  They lived in longhouses.  They ate fish, game, wild rice and maple sugar.

h The Comanche tribe lived in the Great Basin region of the country.  They lived in teepees and ate food they could find.  They ate seeds, roots, berries, and nuts.  They also ate snakes, lizards, mice, rabbit and deer.

h The Pueblo tribe lived in the Southwest region of the country.  They lived in multi-story apartment houses.  They ate food they could grow and find, like wild plants, small animals and maize (corn).

h We eat more Native American foods today than foods from any other continent.

  Corn: grits, popcorn, hominy, chips, bread, succotash, tortillas, syrup, hush puppies.
  Potato: chips, french fries, mashed, baked.
  Sweet Potato
  Tomato: sauce, salsa, juice
  Bean: kidney, butter, snap, string, lima, navy, pole, pinto.
  Berry: (47 kinds of Native berries have been identified): blueberry, elderberry, gooseberry, blackberries, strawberries, ect.
  Avocado: guacamole

h Native Americans have six major types of houses:

Examples: (Click underlined items below to see an example of each type of house.)
  Long House: Long, rectangular house made of wooden posts and poles, and covered by bark.  The Iroquois tribes of New York lived in villages containing up to 100 longhouses.
  Wigwam: a domed shelter built of wooden poles covered with bark or animal hides or grasses.  Woodland tribes of the Great Lakes region lived in wigwam villages.
  Teepee: Cone-shaped tent made of hides, wooden poles and stakes created by Plains Indians to be easily transported.
  Pueblo: a village of flat-roofed structures made of stone or adobe arranged in terraces or layers.
  Plank House: Large multi-family homes built of cedar boards, often with totem poles as internal supports and external decorative tribal symbols.  Tribes of the northwest coast lived in winter villages for up to nine months each year.
  Igloo: A domed Eskimo hut, made of blocks of snow and ice.



Thank You for using the Native American Thematic Unit...

Last updated:

04/30/2003 09:21:25 PM -0400