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Seed Keepers - Native American Agriculture

This FutureFit Project is a supplemental project-based lesson exploring the transition of Native American nomadic societies to farming communities, their use of companion plantings, and the importance of heirloom seeds and the preservation of our agricultural heritage. It is designed to reinforce core science subject material while also incorporating social-emotional learning and 21st Century skills and concepts.
Grades
3
4
5
6

OVERVIEW:

This FutureFit lesson is designed to supplement a standard 12-15 unit lesson for 3rd-6th grade Social Studies by offering a unique project that ties together the core academic concepts with a set of FutureFit social-emotional and 21st Century Skills.

STUDENT/GROUP OUTPUT:

Students will:

  • Engage in a simulation comparing nomadic living to agricultural communities
  • Investigate the use of companion plantings by studying the “Three Sisters” garden
  • Create traditional Native American seed pot using the coiling method
  • Preserve heirloom seeds for future use and stewardship.

SUGGESTED SUBJECT PREREQUISITES:

It is suggested that students should have familiarity with the following subject material as background for this lesson:

  • A basic understanding of Native American history and heritage
  • A basic understanding nomadic vs. agricultural communities

SEQUENCE AND PACING

This project-based lesson includes enough material for use in five 45-minutes periods of instruction. If a more focused lesson is appropriate, select the 3-day Short Lesson. The Concept Check version provides activities which reinforce the core math concepts.

TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES (suggested):

  • Internet access

STANDARDS ALIGNMENT

These activities support the following NCSS curriculum standards:

  • D2.Geo.4.3-5. Explain how culture influences the way people modify and adapt to their environments
  • D2.Geo.5.3-5. Explain how the cultural and environmental characteristics of places change over time
  • D2.Geo.6.3-5. Describe how environmental and cultural characteristics influence population distribution in specific places or regions
  • D2.Geo.7.3-5. Explain how cultural and environmental characteristics affect the distribution and movement of people, goods, and ideas
  • D2.Geo.8.3-5. Explain how human settlements and movements relate to the locations and use of various natural resources
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