Are you about to teach your students about Native Americans of Texas both past and present?
Welcome back for the Native Americans of Texas edition of a peek inside my Texas History INB. If you would like to check out previous entries on setting up your notebook, maps, regions of Texas, Native Americans, European explorers, Spanish Missions, Colonization, the Texas Revolution, or the Republic of Texas just click on the title.
Our unit on Native Americans is one of my very favorites because of the museum that we use as our final assessment. If you would like to know more about the museum you can check it out in this post.
Native Americans of Texas
I like to start out by discussing the different types of shelter that Native Americans live in, because let’s be real, most of our students think that students live in teepees exclusively which just isn’t the case. This gives me a good chance to check out what other misconceptions my students may have, and try to start unraveling them from the beginning.
After that, we use this PowerPoint to get an overview of Native American groups that are or were found in Texas. We go over all of them but really focus on five. Each year I allow my class to vote on which five they would like to focus on.
Once our five tribes have been chosen we dig a little deeper as a class to find out more about them and record our information on this fold-up.
Then begins the nitty-gritty. Students then rank the groups they would like to study from one to five. They are then assigned a tribe to study by me. (One year I let them choose with little interference from me, and I will never do that again.)
Once they have their group that’s when they research their little hearts out. I usually give them a full social studies block to research without recording anything. Then give them this fold-up to record their information. In order to help with finding suitable research sites we use these QR codes along with books from the school and local library and anything else we can get our hands on. I usually print and keep anything we find.
We also discuss a few important Native American leaders with this fold-up. Then we compare Native American governments. Finally, we sort differences in Native American life before and after the European explorers came to Texas.
At the end of the unit we assess through our Native American Museum. Our whole school, our community, and district leaders attend. Everyone loves it!
With all of the information students have gleaned during the unit, we finish out with a mural project that allows them to show their knowledge and creativity.
In these murals, students work in small teams to create a scene that represents the Native American group they studied including all of the elements from their research including shelter, weapons, clothing, cultural elements, and how they get their food along with features of the region where they live.
One tip for the murals is to only use crayon and colored pencils. When students use markers it instantly “cheapens” the look of the mural.
A few examples…
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