Saturday, November 19, 2011

Our Native American Unit

This past week we have been learning about Native American culture in 1st grade. We have read several legends and done some fun art and writing activities to go along with them.

We read Arrow to the Sun which is a Pueblo tale about a Native American boy who is trying to find his father. He has to face his fears by going through four kivas (the kiva of lightning, snakes, bees and lions) before he and his father are reunited. After we finished reading the story we made a class book.  Everyone wrote about something they are afraid of.


We read Whale In the Sky which is a tale from the Northwest American Indians about totem poles. Then we made our own totem poles by putting animals in ABC order and writing a tale of our own in our journal to go along with the totem pole we built.


We read The Legend of Bluebonnet which is about a Native American girl who sacrifices her most prized possession to end her tribe’s suffering. A few of us even shed a few tears while we were reading the story. Then we made a class book by writing about what our most prized possession is and why.


Here are a few of our writing samples from the class book . . .DSCN0120DSCN0121DSCN0122

We read The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush which is about an Indian boy named Little Gopher who is smaller than all of the other children in his tribe and not able to ride horses, run and shoot bows and arrows with them. He finds out that he has a special talent when a Dream-Vision comes to him and we spends most of his life trying to paint a picture as pure as the night sky. After we read the story we decorated a bag to resemble Native American pottery and filled it with paintbrushes.


On Friday we worked hard ALL afternoon finishing up our unit by making our own book about Native Americans. All around the room were centers that had an art project and a sentence to write. We rotated around the room and somehow finished in record time . . . I think we are all still trying to earn those feathers for our headbands.


Here’s a {sneak} peek at what our finished product looked like . . .


We finished up right at the end of the day by making Native American boy & girl art project to go on the cover.


We also did some Thanksgiving {Pilgrim & Indian} Centers this week . . .

We put Thanksgiving words and symbols in ABC order.  Then we had to write a complete sentence using the each word.  We are REALLY working hard on neat handwriting and using capital letters and punctuation marks correctly.


We found each Indian’s missing feathers by solving the addition and subtraction facts.DSCN0051DSCN0071

We put sets of Native American symbols in order to count by 2’s to 50 and 5’s and 10’s to 100.


We unscrambled words to create complete sentences about Native Americans and the first Thanksgiving.  Over the past few weeks this activity has gotten much harder for us because there are no longer clues about which word goes at the beginning of the sentence and what kind of punctuation mark goes at the end of the sentence.  We are having to work with our partners to figure this out.


We practiced decoding short vowel words with blends and had to decide if they were real words or nonsense words.  We have learned that it is a real word if we can use it in a meaningful sentence.DSCN0113DSCN0116

We practiced working with related facts by writing two addition and two subtraction sentences to go with each set of numbers.


We wrote some silly sentences about Ten Little Indians by choosing action words and describing words to tell about what each Indian kid did.


We also got to listen to some great Thanksgiving themed books at the listening center.



arrowbarney said...

Love your unit! Is the unit for sale?

Kelly Bumgardner said...

Thanks...the centers you saw my kiddos doing are. Just click on the hyperlinked name and it should take you right to them on TpT.

Jenna said...

You must be a great teacher! I love the lesson plan and your incorporating Native American Culture into it.

amy said...

I love the Native American Unit!! Do you have this available for sale?


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Jocelyn Thomas said...

Where can I get the totem pole animals that your students coloured and cut out to create their own totem pole story with. Thanks!

Elisabeth Turner said...

Is the teepee activity and book in your unit??