Native American Petroglyphs - Vocabulary

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SWBAT learn the vocabulary necessary to understand the text we will be reading for our close read.

Big Idea

We will be learning about petroglyphs and practicing the vocabulary words we will find in the reading of tomorrow's close read text "Vernal Area Rock Art" by Byron Loosle and Kelda Wilson


Introduction to Petroglyphs

25 minutes

The students have worked together as groups or "tribes" to research and present information to the rest of the class on Native American tribes from Utah.  Today we will talk about some of the great "art" they have left behind for us to enjoy and to try to gather information about them. While some of petroglyphs in Utah were created by the tribes we have studied recently, many were created by earlier tribes such as the Fremont and Anasazi.  We have learned about these tribes earlier in our social studies lessons.  

Last summer I taught a class for teachers and got the chance to travel to Vernal.  Vernal has many of these amazing petroglyphs.  I took all the photos in the resources myself and grant permission to use them for educational purposes.  I have included some of these photographs in the Native American Tribes packets.

We will start the lesson out by talking about ways tribes could communicate if they didn't have paper and pencil to write things down.  We will brainstorm as a class some of the ways tribes ways back then may have communicated one with another.  After we have discussed how communication took place, I will let them now that we are going to take a close look at petroglyphs for the next few days.  

Next, we will take a close look at some of the pictures I took from my trip to Vernal.  My experience there was incredible!  I was so AMAZED at the beauty of the petroglyphs!  I felt like I was at the Disneyland of history!  I will be sure to explain to the students how incredible it was. I am sure a few of them have been to Vernal or other places where Petroglyphs can be viewed. As we take a close look at the photographs, we will look at each symbol and try to guess what it could represent.  We will then try to guess what the panel means as a whole.  


25 minutes

After we have had a chance to examine the pictures of the petroglyphs, we will play a vocabulary game to introduce and practice some vocabulary words needed for our close read article we will be working on tomorrow.

I will review each of the words with the students by reading the word and having them guess the definitions.  Some of the words we have used as we have discussed the pictures of the petroglyphs so they should know the meanings for those.  Others we will discuss the meaning of more explicitly.  Once the students have a good grasp on the words and definitions, we will play a game with the cards.  I have made several copies on card stock of the vocabulary cards found in the resources.  I have also included details on how to play the game in the resources.