MN Native American Unit

Grade Levels
3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th
Common Core Standards
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1.4 MB   |   148 pages


This fourth grade thematic unit explores: Who were the first people in Minnesota? What does it mean to be a MN Native American? What is the history of specific tribes? How do Native Americans use symbols to convey meaning?

Students will work in small groups to research a tribe, explore their tribes past and present history, create costumes, and present their tribe to the whole group at the end of the unit.

Included: Student Research Learning Packets for Arapaho, Menominee, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Dakota, and Ho-Chunk Indian tribes, with Teacher answer guide.

This unit could be easily adapted for younger grades or enhanced for older grades. It follows MN State Standards:
Social Studies Locate and identify the physical and human characteristics of places in the United States, and also Canada or Mexico. Explain how humans adapt to and/or modify the physical environment and how they are in turn affected by these adaptations and modifications. Describe how people take action to influence a decision on a specific issue; explain how local, state, national, or tribal governments have addressed that issue Describe tribal government and some of the services it provides; distinguish between United States and tribal forms of government - Identify and locate on a map or globe the origins of people in the local community and state; create a timeline of when different groups arrived; describe why and how they came

Art - Describe the personal, social, cultural, or historical contexts that influence the creation of visual artworks including the contributions of Minnesota American Indian tribes and communities. - Describe how visual art communicates meaning. Demonstrate all of the functions of a theatrical production using scenery, costumes, lights or props for classroom dramatizations. Describe the cultural and historical traditions of music including the contributions of Minnesota American Indian tribes and communities. Describe the cultural and historical traditions of works in theater including the contributions of Minnesota American Indian tribes and communities. Create original works of media art to express specific artistic ideas

Literacy Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean). Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings to develop word consciousness:
o Explain the meaning of simple similes and metaphors (e.g., as pretty as a picture) in context.
o Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs. Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text. Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Writing Write narratives and other creative texts to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences:
a. Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
b. Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
c. Use a variety of transitional words and phrases to manage the sequence of events.
d. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
e. Provide a conclusion (when appropriate to the genre) that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

MN Native Americans by Jeremy McClung is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Total Pages
Answer Key
Included with Rubric
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks

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MN Native American Unit
MN Native American Unit
MN Native American Unit
MN Native American Unit