Well, next unit is my weakness!!!!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Youngteacher226, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Hi all,
    well my next social studies unit is about the Native Americans and the first settlers from Europe. :eek: :( :eek: Needless to say, I feel all of these things!!(scared, and embarrassed). Social studies is my WEAKNESS!! Can anybody give me any neat ideas that I can use to explain and teach this SS concept to my 2nd graders???? I don't like to come up short on any lesson or unit so all help would be a lifesaver!!!! Thanks.:p
     
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  3. heart4kids

    heart4kids Rookie

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  4. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Will you be using a textbook? Picture books or short chapter books? Keep it simple and focus on the basics. The Native Americans were the first Americans. They were here for many years before Europeans arrived. The first explorers came from Europe and were looking for land, natural resources, gold. Later, Europeans, who they may have heard referred to as pilgrims, came for religious freedom. The Native Americans lived in various culture areas all over North America. The Europeans could not have survived without the instruction which the Native Americans gave them about which plants and foods (maize, squash) would grow in the eastern woodlands area. The First Thanksgiving was a celebration of several days, something not new to the NAs. Thanksgiving feasts have taken place in all cultures over the world, so this was tec hnically not the 'First'. The NAs lived in longhouses (not teepees). They shouldn't be depicted wearing headdresses or war paint. The Europeans brought many germs and diseases with them which ultimately killed many NAs. Does this help?
     
  6. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Thanks Upsadaisy! Thank you for the brief overview, all is coming back to me now. :) Unfortunately, because my classroom is new and my school just decided this year to open another 2nd grade room, my room doesn't have textbooks yet. So, I've been teaching without textbooks. That is why I need help. Any good picture books that anyone knows would be a big help. Anyway, Upsadaisy, would it be appropriate to mention that the Europeans' germs and diseases killed the NA's or should I save that part for a higher grade??? Should I leave it at how NA's are alive and well today, but live on reservations?? (I don't know, 1st year teacher here!):eek:
     
  7. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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  8. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Most bookstores have displays of children's books that accompany upcoming holidays. A children's librarian at your local library should also be helpful.
     
  9. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    powerpoint on The First Thanksgiving~ It is a huge file and will take along time to load
    http://www.wjcc.k12.va.us/djm/vste/page6.html

    Be sure and turn on the volume. There is quiz that follows the show.

    Thanksgiving information
    Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast
    Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl
    Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times
    Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy
    all by Kate Waters

    Mayflower 1620 : A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage
    by Catherine O'Neill Grace
    Plimoth Plantation's website ----there are a lot of interactive parts to the website. You can find it here:

    http://www.plimoth.org/

    I have not used any of the above, but thought it will give you something to look at.

    Can you borrow a book from one of the other classrooms to give you ideas?
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    You just don't want to give the idea that it was one big happy family. Not all NAs live on reservations today. If you mention reservations, you will have to mention that the Americans (who were European) took away the land and forced the NAs to move to reservations. You should make the point that the NA way of life was stolen from them.
     
  11. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    There is a good picture book put out by Scholastic called 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving (or something ver close). It has photographs rather than drawings. You will need to read through it and choose the parts you want to share with the students because it is a bit long to read from cover to cover unless you spread it out over a few days.
     
  12. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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  13. mcspinner

    mcspinner New Member

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    Nat Am Unit

    How long do you have? As a homeschool group of students in 1 - 6th grades, we spent half a year on NA studies. We chose 5 of the 6 geographic areas and spent 4 classes each (more for our region) on each. We used the library extensively, and also used the Thematic Unit for Native Americans by Teacher Created Materials, Inc, which had worksheets and suggested reading materials. Dickon Among the Indians, or Indians of New Jersey (2 titles, same book!) was a favorite novel to study for Indians of the Northeast. Other books included The Winter People by Joseph Bruchac and Julie and the Wolves. For each region, we built an indian home, like longhouses, tipi's and wikiups. We found and played games typical of that area, like Ducks & Ptarmigans (from Inuit, a tug-of-war game that would predict how soon summer would come). Our homeschool setting made doing recipes easier than in a school setting, but we made food from the different regions too. The children memorized two parts of Hiawatha by Longfellow--each child had a certain amount, and then they would each take turns and between all of them, the two parts were recited. Art projects included symbols of the Nat Am's. The Inuit one was a study in symmetry, that was really cool.

    We did a brief overview for an introduction (where'd they come from? How'd they get here? Where did they live?). We had an outline map of the US and had them color in the regions we were studying. For each region we discussed their climate and how it affected their lifestyle (plains = hunter/gatherers, nomadic; SW = agricultural, sedentary). We talked about each region's religious practices and ways they defended themselves.

    We studied their cultures all the way up to but not including Trail of Tears/marginalization, because we saved that for this year.

    Hope this was helpful--if you'd like more, e me at mcspinner@hotmail.com.
     
  14. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    We made accordian books and each two-page section was for a culture area. We listed the tribes, the environment, location, foods, housing, any special facts, for each culture area.
     
  15. mcspinner

    mcspinner New Member

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    Yeah, that's a good idea. I think the main thing is, study each region separately. The regions we did were Pac Northwest (incl. Inuit), Southwest, Northeast, Southeast, Plains. We did not do the Great Basin tribes.

    Dickon Among the Indians might be too old for your students, but do check out authors Joseph Bruchac and Louise Erdrich.

    OH! The unit is about Native Am's AND the first European settlers? If that's true, then you may need to narrow your scope down to just that--first contact. How harsh conditions were, what indians thought of us, what we thought of them. BUT, if they never had exposure to their culture, it might be kind of hard to get all that, I dunno.
     
  16. wig

    wig Devotee

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  17. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Thanks for all of your ideas. :D I think that the ideas about studying each region is great, but I teach 2nd grade. I think that the whole concept would be too difficult. I believe that the unit should consist of the Native Americans and how they lived in America before the Europeans came and how things changed when they got here. Also, I think that I will touch on how the NA's helped the Europeans and how the Europeans helped and harmed the NA's as well. I just need some ideas to make this more simplistic for my 2nd graders, not more confusing. But thanks for all the interesting ways to teach this.I just want to be able to explain the times correctly, how they lived etc. And show them enough pictures, read them enough books and have enough discussions so that they can apply what they learned and maybe do a writing assignment as well as a creative activity that we can put on display. Any suggestions for these????
     
  18. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    Well, if you can, try to make it hands-on, like science. ie...make teepees out of flour tortillas and wooden pieces.

    Make native american 'jewelery' out of a piece of elastic string and play dough. sandwich the playdough pieces onto the the string and it will harden over night and whammo, you got jewelery.

    Im kind of stuck with my SS this year too. We have books, but no TE and while I dont want to depend on one....of all books Id like to have a TE for, SS is the one.
     
  19. audrey1722

    audrey1722 Rookie

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    I just finished creating a Native American Unit for 3rd grade. Let me know if you want me to email you the lessons/powerpoints. If they are too difficult for 2nd grade, maybe you could adapt them.
     
  20. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I also teach 2nd grade and have 2 weeks to cover this topic. I found an amazing book:

    Easy Make Projects - The Pilgrims, The Mayflower, and More


    There are lots of activities to bring this subject matter to life for your kids... I am working with another second grade teacher - her class is building the pilgrim village and mine is making the Native American one, and then we will 'visit' each others classes.

    The book has many other cool ideas, and everything is laid out very simply for the teacher. Good Luck! :D
     

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