A Guide for the Teacher

A Guide for the TeacherSmile
Compare and contrast common characteristics of the social, political, cultural and economic groups in United States history.
Instructional Directions
  • Assign and/or allow students to choose a partner. If there are an odd number of students, allow for 1 group of 3.
  • Discuss the responsibility of the pairs. Discuss what collaboration means. Have students discuss what it means to work as a team. Make sure to emphasize that each pair is responsible for what is turned in for their group. They need to work together so both partners are happy with their projects.
  • For students who are struggling learners, give them examples of Native American groups: Northwest Coast, Southwest Desert, Eastern Woodlands, and Plains. If the students are not struggling learners, this could be discovered throughout their work through the curriculum web.
  • Give each pair a laptop. Demonstrate how to get to the curriculum web. Walk students through the objectives and expectations. Highlight where they will go to find their resources. Go over each grading rubric with the students so the expectations are clear.
  • Timing: Allow two days for student to navigate sites and choose their first project and Native American tribe/cultural region. Allow approximately 3 days to complete each project. Coordinate with English teacher (if it is a different teacher) to work with students on written responses. Estimated total number of days needed is 3 school weeks or 15 days. This will fluctuate with the level of the students.
  • If working with the gifted students, require that each project is done on a different tribe/cultural region. Oral presentations of end products may be added. If working with struggling students, allow one to two tribes to be used instead of 4 different tribes. Also, you can lessen the number of required projects from 4 to 3 or 2.

Materials Needed

  1. Computers (1 for every 2 students)
  2. Large drawing paper
  3. Crayons
  4. markers
  5. colored pencils
  6. writing paper

General Goals for Curriculum Web

            The curriculum web on Native American tribes is designed for 5th grade students. The students will range from those receiving learning support services to those who are in the gifted program. It will be taught in a co-taught 5th grade Social Studies classroom. This course covers American History through the American Revolution. This curriculum web is being developed to foster student ownership of knowledge and independence in the educational setting. The fifth grade teachers, for whom this is being developed, are concerned with student initiative, dedication and ownership in the educational process. This will allow students to use the internet in a basic research format and allow students to be creative and express themselves in the ways they are the most comfortable and knowledgeable. This topic is mandated by the Pennsylvania State Standards and gives the students insight into the lives of Native Americans and will allow them to explore the changes that have occurred in our society over time.

Description of Learners

            This curriculum web is designed for 5th grade students, primarily students who experience low achievement in the content area. Students typically are not self-motivating and encouragement is needed. The curriculum web could also be used for students who experience more academic achievement and want to delve deeper into the content.

Description of Subject Matter

            The subject matter includes the follow topics related to the Native Americans:

  • Woodland Native Americans
  • Wigwam
  • Wampanoag Tribe
  • Longhouses
  • Plains Native Americans
  • Teepees
  • Southwest Native Americans
  • Adobe Houses
  • Pueblo Native Americans
  • Hopi
  • Sod Houses
  • Sioux
  • Navajo
  • Northwest Coast region
  • Plank houses
  • Igloo
  • Inuit
  • Food
  • Regional Characteristics
  • Way of Life
  • Tribal Roles


Learning Objectives

Upon completing this curriculum web, students will be able to:

  • Distinguish between Native American tribes and the regions they lived in
  • Apply the concept of “living off the land” and compare it today’s society
  • Compare the Native American societies values with our own
  • Present one aspect of Native American way of life in-depth including the different tribes researched.
  • Discuss advantages and disadvantages of Native American way of life
  • Discuss advantages and disadvantages of our way of life
  • Defend their position on which way of life seems more rewarding and satisfying



Before beginning the curriculum web, students should:

  • Be able to write in complete sentences and paragraphs
  • Be able to get onto the internet and access the curriculum web
  • Be able to follow written instructions
  • Be able to work cooperatively in a group
  • Be able to use a word processor


The aim of this curriculum web is to promote student independence in the learning process, and promote student understanding of the way of life, culture, struggles, and successes of Native Americans.



Students are becoming more reliant on teacher direction and supplying of information. Students need to be problem solvers; self motivated, and take responsibility for their own knowledge. These are the skills that lead to successful learners as well as successful adults. Students will feel a sense of accomplishment and self worth upon completion of the curriculum web. Students also can not relate to how life was before and at the creation of our country. This will give them an insight on how far our country has come. This knowledge will give them a head start into the investigation of the founding of our country and the American revolution.

            Students, you are ultimately in charge of your own success and knowledge. This curriculum web will provide you with a base of knowledge and understanding in how you learn so that in the future you will be a better student. You will learn about how you learn best and what types of projects you enjoy completing or are good at. You will learn how to work cooperatively with a group and how 2 or 3 minds are better than one.

Method/Differentiation/Cooperative Learning

This curriculum web is being designed with learning support students in mind. For the struggling learning, two activities of their choice will be completed. For non-struggling learners, all activities will be completed. Students will work in groups of 2 or 3. They will learn how to work in cooperative groups to accomplish the tasks at hand.


The scope for this activity is broad. Students are able to choose the tribes they will focus on and have much freedom in their activities. As long as they address the activity, the way upon which it is completed is up to them. The activities concentrate more on the way of life which is easily found using the web pages. It does not delve deeper in depth.


This web deals with horizontal articulation. It incorporates reading and writing skills along with social studies skills.


The web addresses the standards of not only social studies, but reading and writing as well. This web could be used to in each of those content areas and in those content area’s allotted times, the work related to the reading or writing can be addressed further in depth and elaborated on. It can be an encompassing activity.


This curriculum web, for the struggling users, will be more linear, giving them more structure to following through the curriculum web. For the non-struggling students, it would be used more hypertextual. The students would have the freedom to move throughout the web in a way that best suits them.