Introduction to Utah's Native American Tribes

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SWBAT write about their prior knowledge of Utah Native Americans as we begin our Utah Native American unit.

Big Idea

I will be introducing our Native American unit by introducing the students to some artifacts I have collected. We will also be writing about what we already know about Native American Tribes in Utah.


Student Quick Write

5 minutes

We are starting a unite on the Native American tribes of Utah.  This is part of our social studies core in Utah.  I have found it so beneficial to integrate other subjects into our language arts units.  This unit is no exception.  We will also be integrating the arts into this unit.  

To grab the students' attention, I will put on a native american headdress (this can be seen in the narrative video) and walk to the front of the class (where I have also set up a tepee and placed wood for a fake fire.)  I will have the students write down what they know about Native American tribes of Utah.  This is a quick write so they will only have about 5 minutes to write.  I will introduce the quick write assignment and pass out the Native American Tribes of Utah Packet.  The first page in the packet is where they will complete their quick write.  They can use the back of the page if they need additional space to write.  I have included the packet in the resources.  One is specific to Utah and one can be used for Native American tribes in other areas of the country.

Introduction to Native American Tribes

30 minutes

After the students have completed the quick write, I will ask them to brainstorm as a class what they hope to learn in our Native American Tribes unit.  After brainstorming as a class, I will have the students write what they hope to learn on the second page in our Native American Tribes of Utah packet.

Next comes the fun part.  I have several Native American Artifacts that I will get to show the students and have them try to guess what they are and what they are used for.  I will then explain all about the artifact.


Closer - Video Clip

15 minutes

To introduce Native American tribes of Utah, I will play the following video which gives a great introduction to our state's tribes.  You could substitute another video on tribes from your area if you are outside of Utah.

After we finish watching the short video clip, we will talk about things we learned from watching that we didn't already know.

At the conclusion of the lesson, I will ask the students to bring in empty gallon milk jugs for a recycling project.  I am keeping the project we will be doing with the milk jugs a secret for a while.  Make sure to explain in detail to the students how to wash the milk jugs before they bring them in and let them know if they don't wash them before they bring them, our classroom will begin to have a foul odor.  (Trust me, I have learned from experience.)  I let the students know that we will need 4 jugs each.  We then will do the math and multiply 4 times the number of students in our class to see how many we need to have total.  (We also add up the jugs ad they come in and subtract from the total we need to see how many we still need to bring.  Authentic situations where you can use math are always effective.) As they bring the milk jugs in, make sure to take the lids off and keep them aside so you can use them later and so that the jugs can air dry.

I will let you know the secret project we will be working on later in the unit.  We will be gluing 4 milk jugs together to make a boulder.  We will then put pictographs on our boulders to build a story.  We will learn in our unit that the Native Americans used every part of an animal killed for food.  No part of an animal was wasted.  We can learn a lot from them by trying not to be as wasteful and recycling.