Friday, November 7, 2014

Five for Friday - Native Americans

I am so happy it is Friday and time for another wonderful Five for Friday from Doodle Bugs Teaching!
 This week began our first ever grade level Project Based Learning unit on Thanksgiving. 

 This week we began our unit with our essential question: Is it better to be a kid today; or, a kid during the time of the first Thanksgiving long ago? I then asked who they thought participated in the first Thanksgiving. I was shocked that they had NO clue. So I turned to my trusty friend Discovery Education and found an image and a short video clip about the first Thanksgiving. 

Answers in green were from before watching the clip, answers in red were after.

We then made our schema chart about Native Americans. Before showing them the chart I asked what they knew about Native Americans. I was very worried when no one had anything to say until I showed them the chart and they made the connection that Native Americans are Indians. So the first thing they added to the chart was that Native Americans were called Indians. 

Native American Legends
There are so so so many amazing Native American legends that it was really hard to narrow it down to two. In the end I went with the projects I liked the most! 
We watched The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush on Discovery Education and made these cute Native American vase and flowers.

We also read Arrow to the Sun and made dream catchers.

Here are links to the books on Amazon if you are interested. 

Part of a PBL is to have driving questions that you ask to drive your instruction. We decided to focus on four main parts of Native American and Pilgrim life. Homes, Transportation/Communication, Food, and clothing. Here are two of our driving questions and how we worked to answer them.

Driving Question for homes – How can we, as illustrators, draw a picture that shows the types of homes Native Americans lived in at the time of the first Thanksgiving compared to the types of homes people live in today? 

One of my Kindergarten team members made a really great and basic Promethean flipchart about Native American homes. They could not believe that all Native Americans did not live in teepees! We did make teepees from cone shaped water cups - I forgot to take a picture before sending them home but there are pictures from my other classes at the bottom of this post.

Driving Question for transportation – How did Native Americans travel from one place to another compared to the types of transportation we use today?

We looked at many different and images (from DE of course) about different methods of transportation Native Americans used. We made a venn to compare means of transportation from today with means of transportation from the time of the first Thanksgiving. And because we love art projects, we made these really cute canoes - and kiddos!

 Here are some of the cute projects my amazing teacher friends did with their classes!

Have any of you ever taught a PBL unit in Kindergarten? I would love to see your examples!!!!
Leave a comment and head over to check out more Five for Friday posts at Doodle Bugs Teaching.

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  1. Love it! So many engaging things that your students are working on, and they all look so fun and informative. I love when learning is fun! :)
    Thanks for the links to the books!

  2. Love all these ideas. They look like your students are having a great experience. I have not participated in a PBL project before. Our school is very small with only 1 teacher per grade level so I don't have a team to work with. I have considering just doing one on my own in the spring. Thanks for sharing.

    Luv My Kinders


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