Exploring Native American Agriculture Project-Based Learning Unit

A Historical Native American Agriculture Lesson and Community Citizenship Project

Build background knowledge of the transition from hunting to farming, create and play a game of "Hunt and Gather or Farm and Feast," explore the Native American legends behind the "Three Sisters" crops, design, create, and decorate a clay coiled pot for "seed keeping," learn about and use Native American symbols in a culturally-responsive manner, and synthesize that knowledge by planning a a community service project that embodies Native American ideals about nature.

Your students will learn about historical Native American agricultural practices in this project-based learning unit for grades 3-5 social studies. They'll learn all about the transition from hunter/gather society to farming communities, dive into the legends and reality of the Three Sisters crops, design, create, and decorate clay coiled pots for seed-keeping, and work together on a community service project that embodies the Native American ideals about the natural world and resources.

What's Inside

Packed with hands-on inquiry-based activities, extensions and enhancements, cross-curricular independent and group work, and engaging and interactive challenges, this 69-page project-based unit comes complete with:

  • For the Teacher: A complete Native American Agriculture Lesson Plan with step-by-step instructions for all activities, teaching tips, assessment guidance, and inquiry questions.
  • For Students: A full-color Student Pack complete with all of the printables, slides, photos, and instructions students need for the research, experiments and activities - just print (or share) and teach!

A complete, ready-to-teach Teacher Pack that includes:

  1. Teacher versions of all the student printables with step-by-step annotations and notes for teaching Native American Agriculture;
  2. Formative and summative assessments, answer keys, and a full project rubric;
  3. Instructions and guidance for the extension activities and project enhancements;
  4. Materials and resources lists, links to articles, videos, and research, plus additional resources for lecture and presentation.
Lesson Plan - Exploring Native American Agriculture Project-Based Learning Lesson
Teacher Pack - Exploring Native American Agriculture Project-Based Learning Lesson
Student Pack - Exploring Native American Agriculture Project-Based Learning Lesson

OVERVIEW:

This project-based learning lesson is designed to support and reinforce the concepts taught as part of a social studies lesson or unit on Native Americans. It is built around 5 inquiry-based milestones that incorporate cross-curricular hands-on projects, formative and summative assessments, independent and group activities, and extensions.

STUDENT/GROUP OUTPUT:

In the course of this project-based learning unit, students will:

  • Build background knowledge about the Native American transition from nomadism to farming;
  • Explore the Native American legends behind the Three Sisters crops and contrast the with the real-world reliance on these three staples;
  • Design and create Native American coiled pots for seed-keeping (or planting) using quick-dry clay;
  • Learn about Native American symbols and how to use them in culturally-responsive ways to decorate their pots;
  • "Show what they know" by planning a community service project that embodies the Native American ideals around nature and resources.

SUGGESTED SUBJECT PREREQUISITES:

Students will acquire necessary background knowledge of Native American agriculture as part of this project, and instructional materials for providing that background are included in the Teacher Pack. 

SEQUENCE AND PACING

This project-based unit is divided into 5 milestones. The minimum suggested duration for completing this project-based unit is 5 class periods. However, the unit is completely flexible can be lengthened or shortened as necessary or desired, based on available class time and interest level.

TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES (suggested):

  • Internet access

 

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