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Native Americans: Cultures and Conflicts

Native Americans: Cultures and Conflicts


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Grade Level Grades 3-8
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards

About This Lesson

Native Americans: Cultures and Conflicts explores how Native American peoples lived and examines how their cultures were disrupted, displaced, and profoundly altered by westward expansion and American government policies and practices in the 1800s. Students learn about the Native American peoples of the Great Basin and Plateau regions, the Northern and Southern Plains, and the Pacific Northwest. Students explore how the lives of Plains dwellers were changed by the introduction of the horse and the near extinction of bison. Students also learn about the devastating effect of diseases brought by settlers moving westward; about American government policy and actions to move Native Americans from their lands, force them onto reservations, break down tribal life and compel assimilation; and about how the Sioux, Nez Perce, and other Native Americans fought to maintain their lands, their independence, and their way of life. The material incorporates a rich array of civics-focused knowledge, questions, and activities. In choosing the specific content to call to teachers’ and students’ attention, we have been guided by the civics test developed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

This unit includes a Student Reader, Timeline Image Cards, and Teacher Guide, providing Guided Reading Supports and the following Additional Activities: Native American myths; an interactive Infinity of Nations Culture Quest game about different native peoples and their cultures; videos about the injustices dealt to Native Americans regarding their lands; domain vocabulary exercises; Sitting Bull video; nonfiction excerpt of Chief Joseph’s speech, “I will fight no more forever”; and a Unit Assessment.


Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.


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