Not “Indians,” Many Tribes: Native American Diversity
There were literally hundreds of Native American tribes and there still are. All of those tribes have their own traditions and their own customs. Many had their own language. To say that a certain word, recipe, or custom is "Indian" is incorrect.
Source: Wisdom Keepers, Inc.
What comes to mind for your students when they think of "Indians" or "Native Americans"? In this unit, students will heighten their awareness of Native American diversity as they learn about three vastly different Native groups in a game-like activity using archival documents such as vintage photographs, traditional stories, photos of artifacts, and recipes. One factor influencing Native American diversity is environment. Help your students study the interaction between environment and culture.
How did geographic location, climate and natural resources influence the diversity of Native American tribes and nations?
What can we learn about a Native group from archival documents?
What, if any, generalizations are reasonable to make about Native Americans throughout America?
After completing this lesson, students will be able to
Discuss ways a particular archival document reflects the culture and environment of a Native American group
List at least three differences among the Native American groups studied that relate to environment
Gather data about a Native group using the Internet, if available