This is a group project that can be used with Harcourt Reflections California Series Unit 1, Chapter 2: California Indians. Students will work with a group to choose a California Native American Tribe to research, create a report and present to the class. Students will enjoy working cooperatively together and will learn so much more from this project versus just reading the chapter.
Suggestions for Lessons-
• Read Lesson 1, The First Californians (pg. 56-61) to
introduce the Chapter.
• You may want to watch the following video titled “Native
Americans of California” on YouTube. It is 4:01 minutes long. It is kid friendly, however there is one picture in black and white of a topless woman but it is not very clear. I have shown it to my 4th grade class and feel it is appropriate for school.
• Explain to the class that they will not be reading the rest of
the lessons in this chapter. Instead, you will be assigning the Native American tribes that are presented in the lessons to different groups. They will read about their tribe, do research, and complete a report to present to the class. The Social Studies textbook has more information on some tribes than on others. You may want to plan ahead and coordinate your library day around this time.
Or you may choose to check out books on California Tribes ahead of time. I also allow my students to extend their research to the internet.
￼￼Day 2 cont.- There are 10 California Native American Tribes discussed in the textbook. Assign students groups of 2, 3 or 4 depending on your class size. Cut out the Tribe Names cards and have them pick from a box or bag to assign tribes. The page number that the textbook information on the tribe can be found is written on the cards. After students have chosen a tribe, they should begin reading the information in the textbook first. Pass out the research report pages.
Day 3-4- Additional research may be completed as needed or as you see fit. My students complete this project in four days.
Day 5- Group Presentations