Native Peoples - Wrapup
Students will break into small groups and receive several diary excerpts from Jamestown settlers. Students will read the excerpts and examine Euro-American perceptions of Native Virginians, then be asked to discuss how accurate or inaccurate they think the Euro-American descriptions were.
Given the absence of native documents, I will ask students to brainstorm ways historians can learn about native cultures.
Students will then have the chance to view several replica objects or images of things common to Native Virginian culture: moccasins, pottery, tools, weapons, wigwams, longhouses, clothing, and beaded jewelry. Students will analyze and discuss what these items and pictures reveal about Native Virginians and compare their findings with the Euro-American viewpoints.
Using clay, or other resources, we have constructed models of the longhouse and teepee. Students have been on field trips to museums where they have generated clay pots and seen the types of clothing the Native Americans made from animal skins.
• What is it?
• Where is it now and how did it get there?
• When was it created?
• What was the object’s function (or functions)? Was it unique?
• Who made, owned, or used the object?
One piece of information that I was not 100% fully aware of was the assigning of Native Americans as "colored" and that their were only two races in Virginia, colored or white. With todays ever evolving cultural society, I think it is important to have students understand how Native Americans in Virginia struggled to keep their cultural identity over the centuries and the impact it continues to have on them today.
How does the oral history and language of Native peoples in Virginia represent their culture?
What evidence have archaeologists uncovered at Werowocomoco and Jamestown to give us a better picture of what life was like for tribes in the past?
How are Native peoples of Virginia connected to the land?
Who determines how history is passed down (Who is the narrator?)
Students will work in small groups or pairs to explore primary sources such as Native American Podcasts, Wherowomocomoco Site, Native American Artifacts, etc. The students will complete some of the following activities: Participate in a group discussion and share their answers in an oral fashion., Complete a graphic organizer detailing information about artifacts and photos from VA tribes (pre-contact), Annotate a map of places and natural resources the native peoples of Virginia stewarded and used pre-contact, Make a claim about how the history of native peoples of Virginia passed down and write questions to ask a member of one of the Virginia tribes.
I have always attempted to give focus to the continuous theme of black, colored, and Native American history of Virginia. It is very important to recognize the contributions ALL Virginians have made to this state and the nation. Especially now, in 2020, when there is a heightened focus in the media and our personal lives around these events. My 'white' students are always shocked by the realization that the Racial Integrity Act included the 'one drop rule' where anyone with 'one drop' of non-white blood would be considered part of the colored race and immediately classified as a second class citizen without most privileges (even an education). This surprises them because many know they have some Native American blood in their family tree somewhere. It leads into some good classroom discussions. I will continue efforts to give positive focus on these great influences in our history.
The class will then discuss how historical accounts of events, particularly conflicts, and vary greatly depending on the perspective of the groups involved. Since Native Americans did not have their own written records, students should consider how encounters between two cultures can be very biased.
I would take something such as an arrowhead and talk about why they may have created them and what they used them for. To go along with this, we could talk about their different tools they made and why they might look different from the tools we use today. We would talk about what materials we have now and what materials they had available to them. This goes back to a previous module and well as this one, but it would be neat to look at a map of the land in an Indian's perspective and this could also help us see what materials they had in order to make tools and arrowheads.
2) The other focus I would like to prepare for this upcoming school year is to view European drawings, maps, and paintings. I love the idea of showing these sources, but having the students analyze the paintings with the understanding that they served a purpose. Clearly, many of the drawings/paintings were romanticized views of what the Europeans were actually doing. In particular, I found the painting of the wedding of John Rolfe and Pocahontas to be a great example of this. Students will most likely leave conversations about these pictures with more questions about the motives of the people who created them.
Students love to have hands on learning. I would assign small groups and within each group the students would be assigned a specific tribe. They would have to research, with help, what the Indians ate, how they lived, what they lived in, where they traveled to, and other important facts that are detailed to that particular tribe. The students could either create a mini replica of the house that their tribe lived in using as many realistic items as possible. They could also share their findings with the rest of the class.
The students could be given a set of artifacts or photos of the artifacts and ask and answer the questions through a Q and A. Questions like: What it is? What was it used for? Who used it? Where was it used? Where did it come from? What are some other things that we think of or tell us about the tribe? Who made it?
With the perspective of much of the written documents coming from European settlers, we could create a set up to look at the perspective from the Indians through showing of videos or traveling to places that remain close to the same as it did when the Native Americans lived there full time. The students always love a hands-on experience. Getting to touch items can change their perspectives too.
I think that it would be beneficial if students learned about the Native Americans in cooperative learning groups where each group became "experts" on their assigned tribe. They could present their findings to the class. As a part of the standards, they have to learn about language groups. Their presentation could include a tribe's housing, farming techniques, location in the state, and language spoken. I could create a web quest to help them to learn to locate information online.
There was a social structure, much like the European immigrants with the males and females.
The Natives came here much like the Europeans did, looking for a better life.
There are few, if any, primary sources for the Natives history. The accounts were often biased by European immigrants.
Natives were killed by epidemics "white man" diseases, warfare, and attempts by the immigrants to remove them from their lands.
Natives have not received equal treatment for many years.
the past and issues like the proclamation of the king, treaties with the US government, the Indian Removal Act, reclassification of their race, discrimination, schooling, serving their country and more. I would also like to here stories passed down from their elders.
1. What role do you believe this person has?
2. What makes you believe this?
3. Why do you think that this person is as important today as they were during their lifetime?
Then I would give them the picture of the frontlet to examine and ask
1. Why is the frontlet important
2. How did Cockacoeske come into possession of it?
3. What does it symbolize to the Pamunkey
Lastly, them to look at their initial thoughts about
Cockacoeske and ask if there are any
Then I would give students an opportunity to do a web search to uncover more about Cockasocoeske and review their answers to see what we learn from the Indian people and why she is still influential today.
However, this unit has made me realize that my students need to see the bad side as well. Like many teachers before me and some of my own, we sometimes gloss over the hardships and discrimination that was created as early as the first English settlers arriving in North America. As students learn later on about Civil Rights, and Rosa Parks as well as Martin Luther King, Jr., they need to know that racism has been around for centuries and we are still addressing it today. Segregation and discrimination was not directed at merely one race, but at any race other than European settlers.
Now to address the ugly part. Life is not all sunshine and rainbows and our students need to hear and see this in real time. This is a lesson that needs to be addressed, taught, taught, and discussed. How could their generation change things? What are their thoughts and feelings about the treatment of the Native Americans or African Americans or even immigrants today as they attempt to start a better life for themselves? Is history not repeating itself?
Day 1: Using the site:https://nativeamericans.mrdonn.org/comparison.html , students as a class will watch and discuss, in general, the early Native Americans who encountered the Europeans. During writing workshop, students will discuss what they think they would have felt like if they were there and create a WORDLE to post on the classroom wall. Using a computer, they will use WORD to describe what they would have seen, what they would have felt, and what they think they would have done.
Day 2: Students will review their Wordle from yesterday.
Using the site: https://nativeamericans.mrdonn.org/southeast.html, students will view more information on Woodland Indians.
Students will learn to play the Hoop and Dart game
Day Three: Students will learn about the stories Woodland Indian children were told:
https://nativeamericans.mrdonn.org/stories/wiseowl.html. Students will pair up to draft their own Woodland Indian story using StoryBird.
Day Four: Students will learn about Woodland Indian Homesteads. Students will create with clay a typical Woodland Indian pot.
Students will watch the creation of tools from stone: www.nativetech.org/scenes/stonetools.html
Day Five: Students will go on a field trip to the Native American Museum in Washington, D.C. Upon returning, students will write a paragraph about whether or not they would have liked to be an Indian child at that time.
Monday - Wednesday: Students (1/2 of class) will work in a group to write a short story about a Native American family who lived at the time when the Europeans arrived. The other half of students will write a short story of Native Americans in the 1900s.
Wednesday - Thursday: Students will choose one aspect of Indian culture and re-create it using a variety of provided objects.
Friday: Students will eat a meal similar to that of a typical American Indian in the 1800s after creating one of a variety of available crafts based on Indian originals (Example: booties, purses, agricultural tools, etc.)
Topics such as education, citizenship, marriages, voting rights, etc could be researched and presented in class. Students could analyze the information through documents and create timelines to illustrate the similarities and differences.
I think another great way to incorporate the lessons in this module would be including a small bit about their role in the Civil War; I honestly never knew or even thought about the fact that they had a vested interest in that war. It would also be pretty cool to include them in lessons about segregation. I think most kids only think African Americans were segregated; it would be interesting to see what they think about the segregation of Native Americans. Would they move away from their homes and families to get an education beyond seventh grade?
I also liked the varying artwork from the time period throughout this module. I'm a firm believer in the old adage: "a picture's worth a thousand words." That is why my classroom is filled with images and artifacts from all over the world. I'm proud of the fact that my classroom is known as a museum, as that's the effect I want to have as soon as you get to my door.
Finally, I've found that if I can have an actual arrowhead or piece of pottery to show students, maybe even pass around, it helps "draw them into the story." Then, I can incorporate video segments, Native American music samples, etc. to augment the tale(s) of the indigenous people who were here first!
National Museum of the American Indian
The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian features a number of student activities that incorporate native experiences into American history.
Resources on Native American History
From Teachinghistory.org, the Standford Education History Group shares resources related to Native American history.
Stereotypes in the Curriculum
Also from Teachinghistory.org, this essay summarizes the research of UC-Riverside professor John Wills into Native American stereotypes in history curriculum and what teachers can do to get students to question them.