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Weaving in Navajo history and culture

📖 STANDARD:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Dine’ Content Standard for Grades 7-8 (Government) 4.PO.2 – I will identify changes in customs and goods.
Dine’ Content Standard for Grades 7-8 (Culture) 1.PO.2 – I will show responsibility by knowing the stories related to my belongings.

⏰ Time

30 minutes

📲 Technology required

This lesson requires a Chromebook, PC or Mac computer with an Internet connection.

📃 Summary

Students watch a video by Albert Brent Chase, a longtime Navajo culture educator. Next, students read a passage on sheep resources and rug weaving in Navajo history. The video, How It’s Made: Navajo Rugs is also provided in this lesson. Students end the lesson playing Making Camp Navajo and designing their own rugs.

📚 Lesson

Set up the lesson by watching a video

Arizona lands rug, by Albert Chase

In this five-minute video, Navajo weaver Albert Chase gives an overview of creating a pictorial rug with Germantown yarn.

Read a passage on sheep resources after the Navajo Long Walk

The article , Post-Long Walk Sheep Resources and Rug Weaving , can be added to your own Google drive and assigned to students. It can be printed out or students can complete on their computers.

Complete two vocabulary assignments

Students provide definitions of vocabulary words based only on the context clues from the reading assignment. Next, they look up the definition of each word in the dictionary and compare their original definitions with those in the dictionary.

The ANSWER KEY for questions assigned on the reading can be found here.

Optional (but highly recommended) video on how Navajo rugs are made

This five-minute video covers every aspect of rug-making from creating yarn from raw wool to creating different colors of dye to weaving on a loom.

Make their own rugs in the Making Camp Navajo game

This game teaches more information about Navajo weaving and allows the students to weave their own virtual rugs. Instructions are below and can also be found in this Google doc that can be added to your Google classroom.

Instructions for students:

  1. Go to the Games Portal for Kids here https://www.growingmath.org/games-portal-for-kids/
  2. Scroll down and select Making Camp Navajo
  3. Go to the page that gives choices of numbers, life or random. Pick LIFE. (If this is your first time playing the game, you will have to play through the introduction to get to this page.
  4. Select the middle picture, the one with the woman weaving, to learn more about Navajo weaving and make your own rugs.
Earn page with choices of Numbers, life and random

Assessment

This lesson plan is assessed through the student assignments for vocabulary definitions. The student completion of the rug-making assignment can be documented by screenshots of their rugs. Students design a digital rug design in the Rug Design Tool and share the results with the class. The teacher can then post them in an online gallery for everyone to see.

Scrambled States: Ag in Language Arts

📖 Standard

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

⏰ Time

Three to five hours total. We recommend spreading this lesson over 3 to 5 days.

📲 Technology Required

None required. Students may used a computer or mobile device to access the states’ page or to watch a video on the Scrambled States but these resources are also available in print.

📃 Summary

Teachers read The Scrambled States of America book, or have students read book or watch video. Students select a state from National Ag in the Classroom site and take notes on their state, including new vocabulary. Students read a book related to their state – link to a list is provided. Students complete a notes page and then use this page to write an informational essay.

📚 Lesson

Begin with The Scrambled States of America – book, audio book or video

Begin the lesson by reading the book The Scrambled States of America aloud to the class or you may play the audiobook in class along with the book (which I recommend). It’s very likely your public library has the audiobook available for free download. Students learning at home can download the audio book on to a phone or tablet. If you prefer, you can have students watch the video, in class or at home.

Students Select a State and Learn about its Agriculture

National Ag in the Classroom site has an agricultural facts sheet for every state. You can add this link to their assignment in Google classroom (or write it on the chalkboard – https://www.agclassroom.org/teacher/agfacts/ )

If your students don’t have access to devices or Internet, you can print out the 51 sheets (including the District of Columbia) here.

Update their Word Journals

As some of the words in the fact sheets may be new to fourth-graders, this is a great opportunity to update their word journals, what some teachers refer to as a “personal dictionary”. If this is your students’ first experience using a word journal, you may wish to give them this Google doc to read or read it together as a class, “Creating your personal dictionary.

Read a Book Related to Agriculture in the State

Time required for this activity will vary depending on your students’ reading speed and choice of books. I recommend allotting 20 minutes per day over 2-3 days. If your school library does not have these available, you may be able to get from your public library. Also, remember, many public libraries have ebooks your students can read on any computer, tablet or phone. If you have not taken advantage of these services, now might be a great time to introduce them,

The Illinois Ag in the Classroom program has produced More Scrambled States of Agriculture a combination of agricultural fact sheets. reading list, agriculture science and art activities. Recognizing that students at a range of reading levels, books included range from Pre-K to grade 5-9 reading level, with reading levels listed next to each book. My favorite quote, from the book, “A Hog Ate My Homework.”

I would like to be a farmer when I grow up, because farming is easy!
They don’t need to go to school, because they just play in the dirt and ride around on ATVs. When it rains, they can just stay inside and play video games. When the sun comes back out, the corn just grows out of the ground by itself. In the fall, someone comes by, cuts it down, and gives the farmer a bunch of money. They use that money to buy candy and video games. The end.

– Willie

Take Notes

Since this is likely your students first experience with research, I recommend the “foldable notes” to help them prepare. All they need to do is fold a piece of paper in half, then fold it again and a third time so now they have eight boxes. You can also have them use a Google slide with 8 boxes but often students like the physical activity of creating their notes.

Next, label each of the 8 boxes.

Crops    Livestock      Farms    Climate

Soil        Interesting    Book      Quote

You can use the foldable notes example here since students almost always ask for an example. I recommend having students go back to the state agricultural fact sheet and the book and take notes after having done the reading. It’s not a bad habit to learn to re-read something for information you may have missed the first time.

Write a State of Agriculture Report

As this is likely to be the first informational essay students have written, I recommend providing students an example and sentence stems as prompts. You can find an example in this Google doc that uses the foldable notes from above to write an essay. The first page of the Google doc gives an outline, with sentence stems. The second page shows a completed informational essay.

Assessment

Three forms of assessment are included in this assignment.

  • In the personal dictionary or word journal, students are required to include a minimum of five words with definitions for 50 points. Each word, spelled correctly is 2 points and a correct definition is another 8 points. I deduct a point for grammar or spelling errors in the definition, but only one.
  • For the foldable notes assignment, each note is 10 points for a total of 80 points. I do not grade grammar or spelling in the notes because these are for the student, however, I do highlight errors and tell students there will be a deduction if the error is in their essay.
  • The essay is on a 0- 100 scale. I give 5 points each for title and author and 10 points for each of the prompts completed with one or more grammatically correct sentences. If a student does not respond to one of the prompts but instead includes other relevant information, for example, the number of people working in agriculture, that would be acceptable, too.

Related Lesson

It’s recommended that this lesson be followed by Scrambled States: Ag in Math Class.

Primary and Secondary Sources with Buffalo Hunting

📖Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

⏰ Lesson Time

40-60 minutes

📲Technology

If you would like to incorporate the game, students will need access to computers with Spirit Lake installed on them.

In class: If you are teaching in person, you will need a laptop and projector for your slideshow presentation. If you want to include Spirit Lake gameplay, your students will need access to Mac or Windows computers that have Spirit Lake installed, along with their assigned usernames and passwords. Alternatively, Making Camp Dakota can be played on any device.

Remote: Students need internet connections to see your presentation, watch the videos, and view and enter answers on their worksheets.

📃 Summary

Discover why primary sources are important with a story about Dakota buffalo hunting. Have your students watch the following two videos back to back within the downloadable slideshow. These two videos together are great resources for a lesson on the value of primary sources. Included are questions for discussion and critical thinking. Students can do a primary sources scavenger hunt at the Library of Congress (LOC) website. Included in the slides are two curated museum videos about American bison.

Example usable to teach with primary sources: Black and white video of galloping buffalo

📚 Lesson

Present the lesson Buffalo Hunting – Primary and Secondary Sources. The slideshow comes with several examples of primary and secondary sources from the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian museum, and YouTube.

Videos with Primary and Secondary Sources

Two videos about the Dakota buffalo hunters are presented within the presentation for your students to compare and contrast. The first video contains primary sources, and the second is an interpretation of the narration using animation as a secondary source.

If you want to go directly to the two videos included in the Google slides presentation, these are linked below.

Video with Primary Sources
Video with Secondary Sources

Questions included within the Google Slides presentation

These can be discussed together in class or assigned to students to answer individually.

  1. Reflect: Which video did you like better? What did you like about it?
  2. Compare and Contrast: Was there any information you could get from the first video that you did not see in the second?
  3. Explain: Do you think both videos are equally accurate?
  4. Analyze: The first video used photos and paintings. The second video used animation to help tell the story. Both were made about the buffalo hunt. Which source did you think was more trustworthy? Why?
  5. Synthesize: Imagine if you could add some more facts to the video using primary and secondary sources. List one primary source you would add. List one secondary source.

Note: For differentiated instruction, you can have students select one or two of the questions to answer. In more advanced classes, you may wish to discuss how the oil painters could be biased in their representation of their subjects, and how even photos could be biased in the subjects photographers chose to capture.

Virtual Scavenger Hunt

  1. Review the copy and paste functions with your students as learning a key introductory component of online research using the LOC. Enclosed are instructions for students to help walk your students through.
  2. Have students research primary sources at the LOC website. Click the following link for downloadable graphic organizers to distribute to your class. One answer model has been filled out. Students will copy and paste URLs for six primary sources from the LOC site and label three of them.

Game

Spirit Lake is an adventure game with multiplication, division, and geometry practice that plays on Mac or Windows computers. This is tied in with Dakota culture and history. You can have your students play for 20-30 minutes, hunt rabid wolves, and hunt buffalo. Look out for primary and secondary sources!

Don’t have a Mac or Windows computer? Making Camp Dakota can be played on the web and also includes content with buffalo hunting, as well as examples of primary and secondary sources.

Assessment

To check their data, you need your Spirit Lake teacher data reports username and password and your students’ usernames and passwords roster added to your account for Spirit Lake.

Related Lesson

Primary and secondary sources

Primary and Secondary Sources

📖Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

⏰ Time Required

40 minutes

📲Technology Required

Students must have access to laptops, desktop computers, or tablets with an internet connection. Students also need a camera for taking pictures of their primary and secondary sources to email to the teachers.

📃 Summary

This history lesson for Grades 5-6 introduces primary and secondary sources as it relates to history.

This 40-minute lesson begins with a 7-10 minute presentation on sources with some formative assessment using manipulatives. Students can learn about secondary sources through the telephone game presentation. Students then delve into two different types of sources: primary and secondary sources. Students can do a KidCitizen online module about Primary Sources. The lesson provides a summative assessment activity where students generate two primary sources and one secondary source about an event in their lives.

📚 Lesson

Introduce the Lesson
The lesson slideshow, Primary and Secondary Sources, begins with the telephone game. Students will gain more understanding of why sources are important to keep track of.

Critical Thinking

Students think, “Why are sources important for studying history?” Question words are included in the slides: “Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How?”

KidCitizen Module

The link for the Primary Sources interactive module is included in the slideshow. Students undergo a self-paced but short online module to understand primary sources. Also, you can click here to explore the module and copy the URL.

Assessment

This activity, which does incorporate writing, is included in the slideshow, but is also written below. Just copy and paste the text into your Google classroom or other LMS.

You are living history! Tell the class about an event that happened in your life using primary and secondary sources. You may change the number of sources they submit to you.

  1. THINK: What resources do you need?
  2. SELECT two primary sources in your home about yourself and one secondary source. Label your sources as Primary Source and Secondary Source. 
  3. Take a picture of your two primary sources and of your secondary source. Email it to your teacher. 
  4. Write a paragraph about your historical life event in your own words using your sources as proof of what happened.

Venn Diagram: ELA Lesson 6

📖Standard

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.3 Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

LESSON TIME

45 minutes including game play

📲TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED

A device with a web-browser – PC, Mac or Chromebook – or phone or tablet.

📃Summary

This is the sixth in a 10-unit English/ Language Arts unit centered around a visit to their grandmother that integrates English/ Language Arts and indigenous history. Grandma and her grandchild disagree on their favorite president. After completing a question on the Venn diagram comparing the two presidents, students create their own Venn diagram comparing the two Making Camp games they have played.

📚Lesson Plan

1. Introduce the Lesson

Use the Google slides presentation to introduce the lesson. This presentation also explains Venn diagrams and directly teaches the vocabulary words, “set”, “union” and “intersection in the context of Venn diagrams.

1a. Students complete assignment using Venn Diagram

After learning about Venn diagrams, students use the diagram included in the presentation to answer questions on similarities and differences between the two presidents. The Venn diagram assignment is linked in the Google slides presentation. You can also find it here.

The answer key for the Venn diagram assignment is here.

2. Students create their own Venn diagram

In this assignment, also included in the Google slides presentation, with example, students create a Venn diagram of the two games they have played, Making Camp Premium and Making Camp Lakota.

3. Making Camp Premium and Making Camp Lakota

Students may wish to play the two games to complete the assignment above.

Related lessons

The previous lesson in this unit is Vocabulary in the Attic.

The next lesson in this unit is Author’s Purpose.

ASSESSMENT

This lesson plan includes three formative assessments. First, the students complete an assignment using a Venn diagram. Second, students create their own Venn diagram. Third, students complete activities in Making Camp Premium or Making Camp Lakota which are recorded and scored automatically.

You can view your students’ progress on mastering this standard by viewing your Making Camp Premium Teacher Reports. You can view the Making Camp Premium reports here. 

Vocabulary in the attic: ELA Lesson 5

📖Standard

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.5.4. Consult digital reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses) to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.

LESSON TIME

25 -30 minutes including game play

📲TECHNOLOGY REQUIRED

A device with a web-browser – PC, Mac or Chromebook – or phone or tablet.

📃Summary

This is the fifth in a 10-unit English/ Language Arts unit centered around a visit to their grandmother that integrates English/ Language Arts and indigenous history. Now at Grandma’s house, the student finds pages torn out of an old dictionary. After using the page to complete a quiz, the student plays a game to teach or reinforce vocabulary.

📚Lesson Plan

1. Introduce the Lesson

This Google slide presentation introduces the lesson. The grandchild finds a page from a dictionary in the attic. Read the definitions and answer the questions. After finishing the assignments, students will play a game.

1a. Students complete assignment

Dictionary page and questions are linked in Google slides presentation and can also be found here. These can be included in an assignment in Google classroom or printed and distributed to students in class.

Answer key for the questions can be found here.

2. Play the game Making Camp Premium

Movies choices from Making Camp Premium

Making Camp Premium has 18 options for teaching English/Language Arts at the third through fifth-grade level. First, students should watch the idioms video (click on the pot on the fire in the top left of the first screen) and the synonyms video (microscope on bottom left).

For this lesson, we also recommend the food idioms and synonyms activities, which can be found in the middle of the second page in the WORDS section, with the icons with a cake and eggs, as shown above.

NOTE: This is not the same game played in Lesson 3.

Related lessons

The previous lesson in this unit is the Fireball Wand.

The next lesson in this unit is Venn diagrams.

ASSESSMENT: Making Camp Premium Teacher Reports

You can view your students’ progress on mastering this standard by viewing your Making Camp Premium Teacher Reports. You can view the Making Camp Premium reports here.