Mrs. Asquith was hoping to bring her fifth grade social studies students down to the library to learn about Native American culture areas of the Western Hemisphere. By working with the new standards, students would gain an understanding of the different Native American culture areas present in the Western Hemisphere. Students would learn how the environment in each area helped to shape the distinct culture of each group. After discussing what is meant by the concept of culture, we were ready to dive into the project.
|Students chose three Native American culture areas for their research.|
In order to gather information about each culture, we turned to the Britannica databases. Through Britannica's online encyclopedia, we were able to locate wonderful, detailed information about each Native American culture area. To make the project a bit more interactive, we printed out the Britannica articles, photos, and illustrations. Each culture area became a separate station within the library. Students moved to the station for the area that they were researching. This allowed for students to move around during the activity and work together with different classmates to find the information they were seeking.
The research portion of this process took a long time, but this was due to the fact that students were really taking time to learn about the different cultures! Before each research session, students shared out a cool fact they learned the previous day. Students had interesting things to share and it was clear that they were making the connection as to how environment influences culture.
|Students used Britannica resources to complete an organizer for three culture areas.|
|The beginnings of a news report draft.|
|Some students worked together on the newscasts.|
|Other students worked independently on their newscasts.|
This project was a great way to blend social studies with a research component. Students enjoyed moving to different stations and making culture area discoveries on their own. We will be looking for more ways to infuse research into the social studies curriculum in the future.