Native Americans are one of my FAVORITE topics to teach about. When I was student teaching, I worked with a fantastic Kindergarten teacher. We did a Native American Unit that was a total blast! When I got our "History Alive" 5th grade curriculum, I was thrilled to see the focus on Native Americans. I used information from there, but added my own things to the topic.
Here are topics/vocabulary words I try to push:
survival, adaptations, culture, artifacts, shelter regions of the United States, analogies, Native American Legends, natural resources, harsh environments, nomadic, the impact of technology coming into the world, cause and effects: How the land effects the people, comparing and contrasting their lifestyles, Seriously I could go on...You can cover so much and do tons of critical thinking with this topic, and the kids eat it up because it is fascinating!
On Discovery Education (United Streaming Video) there are some wonderful videos for several Native American cultural regions. Just type in "Native Americans, People of the Desert" (and then people of the forest, plains, etc) I am working with my students on taking notes and organizing information, so we use these Cornell Notes as we watch the clips.
Cornell Notes Native Americans
We also added the information to a giant graphic organizer a little at a time. The labeling might seem a bit primary, but my ELLs still need the support.
For tomorrow, my favorite Native American Legends!