5th Grade Native American Projects

Native American History Is American History

The Fifth Grade Native American Projects Tradition Lives On

Project-Based Learning

Driving Question:  How Did Where a Native American Tribe Lives

Determine or Influence Its:

Shelter?   Food?   Clothing?   Diet?   ... ?

    When you walk down the East Wing hallway, be prepared to time travel through our Native American history.  Step into a tepee made of buffalo skin and meet a Cheyenne family…  Sleep with an Iroquoian tribe -- all 50 of them!-- in a longhouse...  Marvel at the Tlingit totem pole as it shares a family’s history… Put your cold lunch bag on a travois and tell the dog to take it to the cafeteria… Hop in a canoe that was carefully hollowed out by a Chippewa boy and travel down the Cedar River…  Hunt with the bows, arrows, spears, tomahawks, harpoons, and various weapons cleverly crafted by the many Native American tribes used for both catching/hunting food and for safety…  Be mesmerized by the beads and seashells that were used to make designs to show important decisions, events, or stories woven into a wampum belt…  Be in awe of the Algonquian round, dome-shaped, bark-covered wigwams…  Climb the ladder into a two story pueblo built out of sun-dried bricks made of clay and straw.  Inside you’ll meet a Navajo girl who might offer you a meal of corn, beans, and squash which have been nicknamed ‘The Three Sisters’…  Wander into a gathering where you witness a prayer stick/talking stick being used as part of the tradition…  The sights, sounds, smells, tastes,... of the past teach you what it must have been like to be alive then.  

    Every year we say, “It can’t get any better than last year’s projects!” and, guess what, it does!  We enjoy hearing about each student’s project, how they made it, what they learned about it, what materials they used to create it, and some very fun (and funny!) family stories/memories that were made in the construction of the project.  We time it perfectly to happen during Parent Teacher Student-Led Conferences so the audience gets bigger.  The ‘ooohhs and aaahhs’ we hear are well deserved!  The entire school is invited to our wing to take a peek at what our talented fifth graders did.  What’s both rewarding and exciting is to hear the younger kids start to dream about and make plans for THEIR  projects when THEY are fifth graders!  And guess what, they’ll be even better!  (If that’s possible?!)