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History in your own Backyard

By Edward Flores
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"How did the environment impact early California Indians?"
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Grade Level: 4

Curriculum Areas:
Focus: History/Social Science
Secondary: English/Language Arts, Technology

Topic:
Early People of California

Themes:
Creation stories, Food, Geography, Housing, Legends

Duration:
6 weeks
Summary
Students will work in groups of four or five to compare and contrast characteristics of early California tribes. They will use the Internet to collect data about different tribes from three different regions: central valley and mountains, coastal, and desert. They will read different creation stories and then work in a group to design their own creation story based on the environment and animals in that region. Students will also learn how the environment and geography affected how they built their housing, what they ate, and their culture.

Rationale
Students need to know about the native Californians and how they used the natural resources to live off the land. Now that we are more conscious of the limited resources we have, we could learn from the early Californians about how to live off of the land and use our natural resources more wisely.