TeachersFirst's Native Americans Resources

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the rich heritage and legacy of Native Americans and to plan projects and classroom activities so students can explore the contributions and experiences of the native nations of North and South America.  Whether you spend one class exploring these resources or plan an entire unit on Native Americans, the ideas included in the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and projects your students will not forget.

 

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NebraskaStudies.org - Nebraska State Historical Society

Grades
4 to 12
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This well-done site offers teachers, students, and history buffs access to archival photos, documents, letters, video segments, maps, and more,"'''€ capturing the life and history...more
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This well-done site offers teachers, students, and history buffs access to archival photos, documents, letters, video segments, maps, and more,"'''€ capturing the life and history of Nebraska from pre-1500 to the present. Several options are available for exploring content on the site. Choose from the timeline at the top of the page to discover events from pre-1500 through the present. After choosing a time period, you are taken to a new timeline with just that period that includes Nebraska, National, and International events for that period in a stacked timeline making it easy to view timing of all events. There is also a very useful Table of Contents with items listed in chronological order along with the number of teacher activities and/or lessons to use with events listed. Lesson plans and activities are thorough and include grade levels addressed in the lesson, relevant content information, and correlation to Nebraska state standards. All in pdf format for easy downloading and printing. The main page of the site also includes a link to their latest additions. This site is a must see not only for Nebraska teachers, but any teachers of Social Studies.

tag(s): native americans (81), railroads (10), states (163)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard with students then allow them time to explore on their own. Share this site with students who are performing research for state projects, American History, or international events. Have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster using Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) showing information learned from the site. Use the international and national timelines on the site to research important world events.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Real Story of Thanksgiving - Manataka American Indian Council

Grades
3 to 6
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This site offers three stories about the "Real Story of Thanksgiving." Discover the real story of Thanksgiving, a teacher introduction, and the Plymouth Thanksgiving Story. The Manatake...more
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This site offers three stories about the "Real Story of Thanksgiving." Discover the real story of Thanksgiving, a teacher introduction, and the Plymouth Thanksgiving Story. The Manatake are trying to preserve and protect their history and place of worship. Find fascinating information on Thanksgiving from a different perspective.

tag(s): native americans (81), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to take a different point of view on Thanksgiving. Follow the historical information of the Manatake to see their Thanksgiving story. Lead students through a Socratic seminar to think about who really was thankful. Why should the people at the time celebrate? Write essays using reflections on the purpose of reflection and celebration. Determine if similar situations still exist today. Lead your students to a service-learning project to help others.

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Legends and Stories to Share for Thanksgiving - Apples 4 the Teacher

Grades
K to 6
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Discover a fun site just in time for Thanksgiving! Several short stories provide nice, short comprehension passages. Thanksgiving articles and tips provide helpful information on stress,...more
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Discover a fun site just in time for Thanksgiving! Several short stories provide nice, short comprehension passages. Thanksgiving articles and tips provide helpful information on stress, parties, meals, centerpieces, and crafts. Thanksgiving stories, books, and reading activities add academic content to the holiday. Learning activities add new lesson ideas. A thematic unit provides Native American games, poems, reading lists, and jigsaw puzzles. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday in school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crafts (40), holidays (147), native americans (81), poetry (229), puzzles (208), reading lists (72), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Be prepared for the Thanksgiving holiday with the ones you are thankful for, your students! Enjoy the academic content and party ideas to make it the best Thanksgiving yet!

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Learning Island - Learning Island.org

Grades
1 to 6
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Enjoy free books, activities, and games for young students in Learning Island.org. Learning Island provides books that you can print out and keep. There are books on autobiographies,...more
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Enjoy free books, activities, and games for young students in Learning Island.org. Learning Island provides books that you can print out and keep. There are books on autobiographies, historical events, birds, sea creatures, space, adventure, first readers, wild animals, folk tales, ghost stories, amphibians and reptiles, insects and arachnids, and more. It allows a wide variety of choice. Find favorite classics and poetry. A collection of Sherlock Holmes stories adds depth to the mystery section. Reading levels are listed, as well as a reading fluency guide for different grade levels. A section of 15-minute books fulfills a daily reading challenge of 15 daily minutes for improvement in reading. "Illustrate It" allows you to make illustrations to the stories. "Caption It" books provide practice in main ideas and captions. "Writing Challenge" books give a picture and encourage the students to write their own story. Games in writing, reading, and mazes add fun to this site. Bookmarks, skits, fun facts, and alphabet books are also available. You may print all materials but not save the files on your computer. Note that there are ads for new book releases for sale on Amazon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (277), birds (51), folktales (66), poetry (229), short stories (26), space (206)

In the Classroom

Bring new meaning to your reading and writing workshop! Make sure your students read by offering each student a personalized library. The wide variety of choice offers every student his or her favorite subject. Reading and writing games allow fun on the interactive whiteboard, centers, or as a personal reward for students. The writing books bring new ideas into your writing workshop. Use many of the books as examples for gifted students or older writers. ESL/ELL students can read books that are at their interest level. Read ghost tales, pirate tales, or Native American tales! Extend your fun by encouraging your own writers to fill in the gaps when subject matter is missing. Create your own classroom library of books!

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Test Your Science Knowledge - American Chemistry Society

Grades
5 to 12
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The American Chemical Society's Science for Kids is a great place to test and/or gain knowledge. With over twenty science topics to choose from, this has something for every...more
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The American Chemical Society's Science for Kids is a great place to test and/or gain knowledge. With over twenty science topics to choose from, this has something for every budding little scientist. Each module is a slightly interactive informational resource for a specific topic such as earth's atmosphere or even art in chemistry. Even though the site is created by the Chemical Society, other areas of science are also explored. It is clear, to-the-point, and easy to read.

tag(s): architecture (83), native americans (81), trivia (17), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Teaching online? Try using parts of this site as reading selections in an alternative to a standard textbook. Using one or more of these topics in your class? Introduce students to the site and have them read about the topic outside of class ahead of the teaching so that they can have richer discussions when the time comes for discussion. Or, use this site as a reinforcement activity after you have taught about the topic in class. It is a good, multipurpose site which could turn into a fast and easy tool for your classroom!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ArtsEdge - Kennedy Center

Grades
K to 12
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by ...more
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by subject, keyword, or grade level (K-4, 5-8, or 9-12). Some examples of topics include Native Americans, Civil War, Shakespeare, myths, melodrama, adjectives, baseball, and countless others! There are many interactive lessons: some with video, audio, or slideshows. The lessons provide an estimate of time required and complete, step-by-step instructions. There are printables included with some of the lessons.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (114), baseball (36), civil war (145), comics and cartoons (74), dance (28), folktales (66), greece (26), habitats (84), immigration (58), literature (275), mexico (34), musical instruments (47), myths and legends (25), native americans (81), painting (66), surrealism (4)

In the Classroom

Search this site for a topic that you are teaching in your class. Share the lesson on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Better yet, make the video or slideshow a learning station for students to do themselves in small groups.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Maryland Kids Page - Maryland Secretary of State

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn about the state of Maryland and its' laws, history, symbols, and more at this site presented by the Secretary of State of Maryland. The site is divided into sections ...more
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Learn about the state of Maryland and its' laws, history, symbols, and more at this site presented by the Secretary of State of Maryland. The site is divided into sections with sub-categories included on the home page. The history portion includes a great deal of information including a timeline of Maryland, women's history, Native American history, and African-American history, plus famous Marylanders. The government portion of site includes a very nice graphic demonstrating the bill-creation process. Learn all the state symbols such as the state song, bird, and even the state dog in the state symbols portion of the site. Be sure to visit the geography links and choose fun stuff to find lots of fun facts and state trivia.

tag(s): biographies (85), maryland (8), states (163)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to go past PowerPoint and make an online presentation using Animoto (reviewed here) or another reviewed presentation tool from the TeachersFirst Edge. Share the page with the bill-creation process on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) with students and have them compare with other states' processes. Create a scavenger hunt including information from the site and have students explore the pages to find answers. Share the site with students as a resource for state research or famous American projects.

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Mr. Donn's Social Studies - Mr. Donn

Grades
K to 8
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This is a site that contains numerous links to lessons and websites on various social studies and world history subjects. There are numerous subjects: Age of Exploration, Roaring 20s,...more
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This is a site that contains numerous links to lessons and websites on various social studies and world history subjects. There are numerous subjects: Age of Exploration, Roaring 20s, 50 states, World Geography, African Kingdoms, and countless others. There are lesson plans, links, videos, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1920s (16), africa (181), archeology (32), china (66), civil rights (117), civil war (145), colonial america (107), egypt (66), great depression (24), greece (26), holidays (147), immigration (58), india (36), industrial revolution (25), japan (62), mayans (12), mesopotamia (6), native americans (81), psychology (64), religions (61), renaissance (34), resources (111), rome (26), slavery (72), westward expansion (29)

In the Classroom

This is the perfect site for Social Studies and History teachers. Use this site for background information when planning lessons. Place this link on your classroom computers to provide students with safe places to research. Several topics have video clips that are perfect for showing on a projector or interactive whiteboard. If using this site for research, challenge students to create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Arizona Kid's Page - State of Arizona

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn more about the state of Arizona with this site offering facts and information just for kids. Choose the Natural Wonders link to learn about the many natural wonders and ...more
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Learn more about the state of Arizona with this site offering facts and information just for kids. Choose the Natural Wonders link to learn about the many natural wonders and national parks within the state such as the Grand Canyon, the town of Tombstone, and the Apache Trail. Get a brief geographical background on the formation of the state by choosing the Arizona History link tracing the known time range of man living in the state back 20,000 years. Learn about state facts, emblems, motto, and much more in the facts section (did you know Arizona has official state neckwear?). Be sure to check out the state photos section for realistic images of many portions of the state and of it's natural wonders.

tag(s): national parks (16), native americans (81), natural resources (59), westward expansion (29)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students when working on state research projects. Display photos included on the site with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector when discussing Arizona, the Grand Canyon, or other areas of the state. Copy and use the coloring pages with the state seal, flag, and other images when learning about the state of Arizona. Rather than having students create a traditional research project, have students create a multimedia presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture.

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Florida Kids Page - Florida Division of Historical Resources

Grades
4 to 12
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This site was created to provide resources for students learning about Florida. Categories include state symbols, Florida history, Seminole history, the Capitol, Florida governors,...more
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This site was created to provide resources for students learning about Florida. Categories include state symbols, Florida history, Seminole history, the Capitol, Florida governors, and quick facts. After choosing a category, there are subtopics listed in some of the categories to help narrow down searches for information. There are some images; however, most information is in text and some students may need help reading the information.

tag(s): native americans (81), states (163), symbols (19)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students researching state symbols, native americans, or Florida. For students studying Florida, challenge cooperative learning groups to create online books about one part of this website. Use a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Virtual Jamestown - Virtual Jamestown

Grades
6 to 12
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In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, this site offers a terrific set of resources on the Jamestown colony. Click on the map on this home ...more
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In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, this site offers a terrific set of resources on the Jamestown colony. Click on the map on this home page to see all the offerings. There are lesson plans, videos, animations, and searchable documents. A searchable database of indentured servant records brings students closer to the lives of real people who lived in early American colonies. A virtual view of the fort at Jamestown has much greater impact than a picture in a book, and it allows you to feel as though you are really there. One section of the site is devoted to the Native American perspective on the settlement of Jamestown; listen to Chesapeake Indians. Some of the other activities include viewing John Smith's voyage maps, browsing through real records of the Virginia Company at Jamestown, and reading the actual letters of major colonization participants from the latter 1500s and early 1600s. This site intends to be the one-stop shop for authentic Jamestown research.

tag(s): colonial america (107), colonization (16), india (36), jamestown (11)

In the Classroom

Spend a few minutes at this site, and you will be swept away to life on the James River 400 years ago. The zoomable maps and rotating views of Jamestown artifacts would be effective on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Plan a day to explore together or with partners to find out specifics about the colony. You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the main page and click on "Teaching Materials" to find several wonderful lesson plans on Jamestown. For teachers who want to bring authentic, first-hand accounts and records into the classroom, this site provides a wealth of actual documentation. We strongly suggest you use the Site Index to get the extensive view of this website's offerings.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Native Americans - A problem-solving approach - Franklin Institute

Grades
6 to 8
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This unit uses a problem-solving approach to examine an old Native American issue - the creation of reservations - and a new one: the growth of gaming on those reservation. ...more
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This unit uses a problem-solving approach to examine an old Native American issue - the creation of reservations - and a new one: the growth of gaming on those reservation. Created as part of a collaborative program with the Franklin Institute, the unit lets students explore the relevant information and develop their own hypothesis about each issue.

tag(s): native americans (81)

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The Listening Doll - Joyce Payne

Grades
K to 4
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Students discuss the process of storytelling and listening to stories. Then, they create a listening doll in the tradition of the Native American storyteller dolls.The lesson is in...more
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Students discuss the process of storytelling and listening to stories. Then, they create a listening doll in the tradition of the Native American storyteller dolls.The lesson is in 2 45-minute segments. The students will learn about Native American storyteller dolls, create their own image of a person listening to a story, discuss and assess the various listening dolls created by the class.

tag(s): native americans (81)

In the Classroom

Some arts & crafts materials are needed for these lessons. This would be a great option to accompany the study of Native Americans in an elementary classroo, drawing in your language arts time for story writing and telling.

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Native American Crafts Unit - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 6
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This is a collection of craft projects based on toys or articles that Native American or colonial children might have used. There are complete instructions for each item, with illustrations....more
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This is a collection of craft projects based on toys or articles that Native American or colonial children might have used. There are complete instructions for each item, with illustrations.

tag(s): crafts (40), native americans (81), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Try using this unit with a study of Thanksgiving, colonial settlements, or Native Americans of the eastern U.S. Share the hands-on crafts and be sure to take digital pictures. Ask students to write explanations of the crafts on your class wiki (with the accompanying pictures)! Or include the link to directions for one of these crafts on your class web page for students to try as a summer activity.

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Virtual Tour Plantation - Plimoth.org

Grades
4 to 12
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This virtual tour is actually two tours made in conjunction with Scholastic. The first video is Pilgrim Village: View the simple life of the Pilgrims in this 18-minute video for ...more
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This virtual tour is actually two tours made in conjunction with Scholastic. The first video is Pilgrim Village: View the simple life of the Pilgrims in this 18-minute video for all grades. The second video is the Wampanoag Homesite: Witness the life of the indigenous people who were part of the Wampanoag Nation in this 17-minute video for all grades.

tag(s): colonial america (107), native americans (81), pilgrims (17)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today.

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Inca Investigation - American Museum of Natural History

Grades
5 to 12
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This interactive site helps students to know what life was once like in the ancient Inca city of Huanuco Pampa. By exploring artifacts and places, students have to figure out ...more
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This interactive site helps students to know what life was once like in the ancient Inca city of Huanuco Pampa. By exploring artifacts and places, students have to figure out what buildings on the map were used for. As they match the six buildings they will collect chronicles. When all buildings have been collected they can print out their book of chronicles showing daily life in an Inca city.

tag(s): native americans (81)

In the Classroom

This site would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. They can record information in history journals. The printed out chronicles can be used as a study guide. Students could also take the chronicles and create a podcast about what life was like in an ancient Inca city. Have students create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Shmoop US History, American History - Shmoop

Grades
9 to 12
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Useful for either teachers or students, Shmoop is a virtual cram session on a variety of topics. In this history section, choose a time period and you get a tabbed ...more
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Useful for either teachers or students, Shmoop is a virtual cram session on a variety of topics. In this history section, choose a time period and you get a tabbed overview of the era including a quick review, a more in-depth coverage, a timeline, important people, fun facts, web links, and a test review. There are featured stories, Hot Topics, and study guides. It's all written in a breezy, accessible style that students will appreciate, but it's not superficial.

tag(s): blues (21), civil war (145), constitution (79), fashion (10), gold rush (19), war of 1812 (14)

In the Classroom

Students will love this site for reviewing and preparing for exams. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Take advantage of the FREE study guides. Why not have cooperative learning groups investigate specific topics relative to your current unit of study and create multimedia presentation. Create podcasts, using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have students create a Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report about the event or topic. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Teachers can also use this site to differentiate between the typical lectures used to teach a US history project. Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing any one of the topics offered. Select 10-15 of the more powerful and diverse images, hanging them up in different locations around your classroom. Have students rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds, jotting down what they observe and infer about each image until the entire class has completed the circuit. After the class is back in their seats, have a class discussion based on what they observed and what this says about the topic.

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Race Bridges for Schools - Race Bridges for Schools

Grades
3 to 12
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This is a teacher and professional resource containing lesson plans and links for promoting diversity and addressing racial divides. This site contains excellent lesson plans on diversity,...more
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This is a teacher and professional resource containing lesson plans and links for promoting diversity and addressing racial divides. This site contains excellent lesson plans on diversity, discrimination, multiculturalism, and tolerance. Each plan focuses on a person or event of a specific racial group, or a problem common to all multicultural groups. The plans do not specify a grade level, though many could be adapted for use from middle elementary level to high school. From Japanese internment to celebrating Thanksgiving in an American school, the plans and activities are excellent, varied, and fresh. The lesson plans are VERY detailed and provide objectives, but no correlation to standards. Many of the individual stories are available in MP3 format. You can listen to the stories using Windows Media Player or on any MP3 player, as well. Some of the lesson plans require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): black history (59), diversity (36), native americans (81), racism (18)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans that are relevant to your class as you study different cultures, history, racial tensions in the U.S. , or even character education. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With older students, have cooperative learning groups explore different lessons. Have the groups create a multi-media presentation sharing their discoveries. Have the groups create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon . You could also use this site as the core of a contemporary topics debate series.
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Native American Booklist - NEA

Grades
K to 12
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This site celebrates the major works by Native American authors. There are three booklist levels, grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12 and above. As part of NEA's Read Across ...more
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This site celebrates the major works by Native American authors. There are three booklist levels, grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12 and above. As part of NEA's Read Across America program, links to tools to help parents and teachers encourage more reading among the young. Books include fiction, essays, poetry, and nonfiction articles.

tag(s): book lists (124), literature (275), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a reference when picking extra reading materials during a Native American unit or as you approach November and Thanksgiving. Teach students how to find book reviews online after they've selected a book they would like to read. Have students create multi-media book "reports." Give students choices like a wiki, blog, PowerPoint, or even an online book review using a tool such at Bookemon (reviewed here).

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NMAI: Identity by Design - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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From the National Museum of the American Indian, this online exhibit is subtitled "Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses." The exhibit uses 19th century Native...more
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From the National Museum of the American Indian, this online exhibit is subtitled "Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses." The exhibit uses 19th century Native women's clothing as insight into Native American culture of the time period, and features stunning photographs of Native dresses and commentary by present-day Native women. The site both describes the ways Native women made their clothing in the 19th century and the ways that clothing can give us important clues about the role of women in Native society. Of interest also are the ways clothing began to reflect the influence of the dominant white culture on traditional Native practices. The site also includes information about today's Native Powwow dance competitions which bridge the distance between traditional culture and the modern world, and bring 19th century Native women's clothing and costume into the 21st century. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): clothing (9), native americans (81), women (101)

In the Classroom

Traditionally, American history has been taught as the story of the dominant European culture's triumph over more primitive Native cultures. Native American culture is too often pictured as one-dimensional rather than as a rich collection of diverse tribes and cultures. If Native women are featured at all, they may be represented only by Pocahontas and Sacajawea. This site allows a fuller exploration of the variety of Native women's cultures and would serve as an outstanding supplement to a study of the European settlement of the West. The photographs of the women's dresses are lovely and would display nicely on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The commentary would be useful for any student doing more in-depth research into Native culture. The site's focus on women's roles and culture would also fit nicely with a unit on women's history. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. To extend the clothing-as -culture approach in your classroom, ask students to create a wiki showing the role of clothing in ethnic subcultures of the U.S. today or at other places and times. Middle school grades might want to work together with the art or FCS teachers on this.
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