Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ohio's Native Americans

In honor of Thanksgiving, I wanted to post our latest social studies lesson and project.

4th graders in Ohio need to be familiar with the Native American tribes in Ohio, how they got here, how they lived, and why they left. During my student teaching 5 years ago I created this project, and have done this in many different variations for each of the grades I have taught. Now that I teach fourth grade again, and probably will for a while now, it is a staple in my unit.

Students are separated into 6 groups, and then assigned a tribe. After  they are assigned their tribe, I call them that tribe to help get them in the mood. I give them copies of internet pages on their tribe, as well as research books (including textbooks) that they can use to research their tribes.

I give them a list of questions to go by to make sure they have the essentials: food, clothing, shelter, famous chiefs, religious ceremonies, year they were around, why they left. They fill out their fact sheet, which takes about one to two days.

Once they finish their research, I give them a puzzle piece. They decorate this puzzle piece with pictures and captions to share their research. When they present their information we put the pieces together, which forms Ohio. But each piece is the region in Ohio where the tribe lived. The students then use this to compare the tribes:

Students love this project each year :)

A quick shout out to my husband...Happy Birthday Honey!


  1. Laura,
    I teach 4th grade in Ohio also. What a great project based learning activity for the students! I am looking forward to incorporating it in my unit on Native Americans. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I'm looking for ways to make the content (extended) standards meaningful for my students with multiple disabilities. I really like your idea!

  3. How did you get such a big Ohio shape?