Lesson Plan

The People and the Land (Team Research)

Image of river, sunlit mountains, partly cloudy sky
The land changes slowly - but how does time change people and cultures?
NPS Photo / Jacob W. Frank

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Grade Level:
Fifth Grade-Sixth Grade
Subject:
American Indian History and Culture, Anthropology, Geography, Pioneer America, Social Studies, Westward Expansion
Group Size:
8 or fewer
Setting:
classroom
National/State Standards:
National standards for ...
Social Studies:
Standards II, III, IV, V

Geography:
Elements 1, 2, 4, 5, 6

English:
Standards 1, 2, 3

History:
Topics 1, 2
Era 8

Overview

In "People and the Land (Team Research)," students will examine similarities and differences between Native Alaskan and Euro-American cultures.

Our "People and the Land" unit is broken into five lesson plans, taking 30 - 180 minutes to complete, and targeted at varying grade levels. A class needn't complete every lesson in the unit - each lesson comes with its own set of objectives and resources. This is lesson 5 of the unit.

Objective(s)

Guiding Question: What are the similarities and differences in how Native and Euro-American people have interacted with the land in Denali National Park and Preserve?

Critical Content: Learn how different cultures interact with the land within a national park.

Student Objectives: Students will ...

  • research a specific part of a larger topic in a team setting
  • present the information they learn to the class
  • create an informational display of some format (electronic, paper, etc)




Background

Our "The People and the Land" unit is broken into five lesson plans, each taking 45 - 120 minutes to complete, and targeted mainly at fifth and sixth grade students. A class needn't complete every lesson in the unit, though some lessons do refer to one another and are better done in sequence. However, each lesson comes with its own set of objectives and resources.

The final lesson, "The People and the Land (Team Research)" can be done independently, as a research project, or as a final assessment after having done some, or all, of the other lessons in the unit.


Check out the other lessons:

Lesson 1: On the Move
Lesson 2: What is Community?
Lesson 3: Coming Together
Lesson 4: Changing Times
Lesson 5: Team Research

 



Procedure

Break the class into teams of four.

Each member of your team is to select a different type of cultural specialist from the list below. Your team will analyze the similarities and differences between the ways Native and Euro-American people have used the land in the area of Denali National Park and Preserve. Each team member is responsible for contributing the type of research information appropriate to their role.

Drawing from your team's research, create either an electronic presentation or an informational display for the Park's Visitor Center describing how the two cultures have interacted with the land and resources of Denali National Park and Preserve. Be sure to address similarities and differences that you may have found.


Team Members:

Cartographer - Map and geography researcher
Historian - Researches the personal stories
Sociologist - Researches the community needs and histories
Resource Specialist - Identifies resources available to the individuals and communities

 

Assessment

Assess the team's performance in three key areas:

  • Researching and gathering information
  • Participation in group discussion
  • Creating an informational display

Above Proficient
Research:
Collects a great deal of information, all relating to the topic
Group discussion:
Offers information which has been analyzed from the perspective of the role which was assigned
Informative display:
Clear depiction and incorporation of many elements of culture and history. Effective and accurate use of writing conventions. Fluent and articulate writing. Effective Organization and presentation with thoughtful information and strong supporting details. Graphics offer support of text.

Proficient
Research:
Collects some basic information--most relates to topic
Group discussion:
Offers the information which has been gathered, though without extensive analysis.
Informative display:
Incorporates some of elements of culture and history. Effective and accurate use of writing conventions. Presentation is organized and uses details well. Some graphics.

Below Proficient

Research:
Collects very little information--some relates to the topic.
Group discussion:
Either gives too little information or deviates from the groups' task
Informative display:
Presentation lacks organization. Writing conventions are not always followed. Presentation has little information with either no graphics or the graphics do not support the text.

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