This is an activity I designed for my fourth grade Social Studies classes. Each year, we discover that the earliest inhabitants of the Americas most likely crossed a land bridge called Beringia during the last Ice Age. This land bridge connected Asia and Alaska, and became submerged in water when glaciers melted at the end of the Ice Age.
To help my students visualize the journey taken by these prehistoric Americans, I first tell the story. Paleo-Indians crossed Beringia in search of food. Their main food sources were large animals such as woolly mammoths and mastodons. When these large animals migrated across Beringia, Paleo-Indians followed them. You can find many helpful online resources, such as maps and video clips, to illustrate this migration pattern. (Just Google "Beringia.")
Once I have introduced the story, I give my students the opportunity to act it out. This file includes name tags for the different characters in the story:
~ 6 Mammoth name tags
~ 6 Mastodon name tags
~ 6 Paleo-Indian name tags
~ 6 Beringia name tags
Begin with the Mammoths and Mastodons crossing Beringia. Students with Beringia name tags can stand in 2 rows of 3, creating a walkway for the Mammoths and Mastodons. Once the animals have made their way across the bridge, the Paleo-Indians follow.
To finish the story, you can demonstrate water from melting glaciers covering the pathway. I just toss sheets of blue paper on the floor in between the two rows of Beringia students.
Once students have acted out the story, they can use the story boxes (included in this packet) to retell its main details.
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