Native American Culture Curriculum

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The North Central Education Service District has developed a technology-based Native American Culture Curriculum as a resource for classroom teachers. The project has two major components. The first is a set of annotated web links to Native American resources on the Internet. An emphasis is placed on Plateau Indians of the Pacific Northwest, but other resources are included as well. The second component consists of sample unit plans that target certain Oregon 5th and 8th grade social science benchmarks. The components are used together to create active learning lessons for students in grades three through eight.

On-Line Resources

The on-line resource section of the project may be accessed from the North Central ESD  ( http://www.ncesd.k12.or.us) . By clicking on “Departments” then on “Curriculum” you will arrive at the index page for the resources. They have been categorized by topic (such as ART, TECHNOLOGY, TRIBAL INFORMATION). Clicking on any of the topics will take you to a page that includes “hot” links and an annotated description of each link. A brief description of the resource is followed by columns indicating grade-level appropriateness for students and teachers. A final column contains ideas for possible uses. Clicking on the “hot” link takes you to the resource.

The Sample Unit Plans

Several sample units have been prepared for both the Oregon 5th and 8th grade social science benchmarks (Adopted April 2001). For each sample the target benchmark is identified and a brief description of the activity is provided. The required materials are listed along with Internet and other resources. Nearly all of the Internet resources are from the North Central ESD On-Line Resource described above. This frees the teacher from the time-consuming chore of finding appropriate resources. A teacher who wishes to extend the unit may, of course, assign additional Internet searches. A complete description of the activity is provided for the teacher. It should be noted that most, if not all, of the sample units are based on an active learning model where students are placed in the 19th century and asked to solve a problem using local resources. After working out a solution they research the methods and materials used by Native Americans who lived in the area where their school is now located. In cooperation with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, two-way video conferences with members of the tribes are anticipated. All of the units require written narratives and/or oral presentation of the work done by students while some include presentation to outside groups.

Conclusion

It should be clear that these materials are meant to be a starting point for teachers and students. They should be adapted and refined over time. It is hoped that classroom teachers will add to the data base and that it will grow to be an important resource.

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