Social Studies

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Week of September 17-21

Introduce Native American Project- Students will choose a Native American Region to study. 

They will study the following categories:
-Type of home
-A new word
Students will choose a way of presenting (ex. poster, powerpoint, booklet, mobile) We will work on them in class and presenting will begin later, next week, depending on where they are in the process. 


Index of Native American Nations on the Internet -
Individual Native Nations -
Native Web Database -
Native American Website for Kids (only has info on Cheyenne, Inuit, Navajo and Kwakiutl) -
The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian -

Unit 2 Three Worlds Meet Overview

In this unit students study early American History with a focus on the period prior to 1585.  Starting with the art of historical thinking, students review the questions historians ask in examining the past. After they reconsider the tools historians use (primary and secondary sources, artifacts), they explore the online Open Book as a type of secondary source.  In doing so, students examine text structures, text features, and the role of informational text in learning about the past.  

This unit takes a separate examination of life in America, Africa, and Europe in order to set the stage for the convergence of these three worlds in America.  This approach prepares students to understand the exchanges and conflicts that resulted from the convergence of three distinct peoples in America.  Accordingly, students begin their study with America, using a geographic lens to identify major American Indian cultural groups and compare how people living in different geographic regions adapted to and modified their environments prior to the arrival of Europeans.  

Students take an in-depth examination into the life and culture of Eastern Woodland American Indians.  Students then shift their focus to the continent of Africa.  In learning about how people lived in western Africa before the 16
th century, students create a foundation for examining how the meeting of the three worlds affected people from this continent.  Next, students turn to Europe as global exploration began.  They analyze the goals, motivations, and developments that made sea exploration possible through case studies of various explorers.  

Students explore the convergence of Europeans, American Indians, and Africans in North America after 1492.  In considering the Columbian Exchange, students describe the widespread movement of plants, animals, foods, communicable diseases, ideas, human populations, and goods, and how human societies were affected.  Finally, students analyze the consequences of the encounters and exchanges among these three worlds and how people from each continent viewed the convergence.

Michigan Open Book- 5th Grade