This unit will introduce students to Native Americans. It will provide an overview of various Native American groups in different geographical locations across America. The unit will progress into an in-depth study of the Wampanoag Indian Tribe, including an examination of daily family life and how the tribe met their basic needs. Furthermore, the unit will cover the Wampanoag’s role in helping the Pilgrims and celebrating the first Thanksgiving. Students will understand that different Native American groups lived in different parts of the country, becoming familiar with their ways of life and family structure. Students will also learn how Native Americans met their basic needs (food, clothing, shelter) with hunting, growing crops, and building. In addition, students will understand contributions that the Native Americans made to our country. Finally, students will gain an appreciation for cultures other than their own. Lessons include: Lesson #1: What do we Know About Native Americans? Lesson #2: Native Americans Migrate from Asia Lesson #3: Regions of North America Lesson #4: Pacific Northwest Native American Nations Lesson #5: Great Basin Native American Nation Lesson #6: Southwest Native American Nation Lesson #7: Plains Native American Nation Lesson #8: Eastern Woodlands Native American Nation Lesson #9: The Life of a Wampanoag Family Lesson #10: The First Thanksgiving I Lesson #11: The First Thanksgiving II Lesson #12: Final Review and Assessment Unit Resources include: Vocabulary Cards KWL Chart Native American Migration Map of Native American Nations Book of Native American Nations Pacific Northwest Nation Great Basin Nation Southwest Nation Plains Nation Eastern Woodlands Nation I am a Wampanoag Child Thanksgiving Venn Diagram Final Assessment Background Information for Teachers


  • Social Studies > General
  • Social Studies > United States History

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • K


primary social studies thanksgiving history native americans



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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Update Standards?

SOC.K.K.6.1: History-Social Science

Identify the purposes of, and the people and events honored in, commemorative holidays, including the human struggles that were the basis for the events (e.g., Thanksgiving, Independence Day, Washington's and Lincoln's Birthdays, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day).

SOC.K.K.6.2: History-Social Science

Know the triumphs in American legends and historical accounts through the stories of such people as Pocahontas, George Washington, Booker T. Washington, Daniel Boone, and Benjamin Franklin.

SOC.K.K.6.3: History-Social Science

Understand how people lived in earlier times and how their lives would be different today (e.g., getting water from a well, growing food, making clothing, having fun, forming organizations, living by rules and laws).

SOC. History-Social Science

Understand the significance of our national holidays and the heroism and achievements of the people associated with them.

SOC. History-Social Science

Examine the structure of schools and communities in the past.

SOC. History-Social Science

Study transportation methods of earlier days.

SOC. History-Social Science

Recognize similarities and differences of earlier generations in such areas as work (inside and outside the home), dress, manners, stories, games, and festivals, drawing from biographies, oral histories, and folklore.

SOC. History-Social Science

Recognize the ways in which they are all part of the same community, sharing principles, goals, and traditions despite their varied ancestry; the forms of diversity in their school and community; and the benefits and challenges of a diverse population.

SOC. History-Social Science

Understand the ways in which American Indians and immigrants have helped define Californian and American culture.

SOC. History-Social Science

Compare the beliefs, customs, ceremonies, traditions, and social practices of the varied cultures, drawing from folklore.

SOC.2.2.5: History-Social Science

Students understand the importance of individual action and character and explain how heroes from long ago and the recent past have made a difference in others' lives (e.g., from biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Louis Pasteur, Sitting Bull, George Washington Carver, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Golda Meir, Jackie Robinson, Sally Ride).

SS.A.1.1.1: Social Studies

compares everyday life in different places and times and understands that people, places, and things change over time.

SS.A.1.1.2: Social Studies

understands that history tells the story of people and events of other times and places.

SS.A.2.1.3: Social Studies

understands the significance and historical contributions of historical figures during this period (e.g., the journeys of famous explorers).

SS.A.4.1.1: Social Studies

knows significant individuals in United States history to 1880.

SS.A.4.1.2: Social Studies

knows people and events honored in commemorative holidays that originated prior to 1880.

SS.B.2.1.1: Social Studies

identifies some physical and human characteristics of places.

SS.B.2.1.2: Social Studies

knows how different communities have changed physically and demographically.

SOC.K.SS.K.A.2.1: Social Studies

Compare children and families of today with those in the past.

SOC.K.SS.K.A.2.2: Social Studies

Recognize the importance of celebrations and national holidays as a way of remembering and honoring people, events, and our nation's ethnic heritage.

SOC.K.SS.K.A.2.3: Social Studies

Compare our nation's holidays with holidays of other cultures.

SOC.K.SS.K.A.2.4: Social Studies

Listen to and retell stories about people in the past who have shown character ideals and principles including honesty, courage, and responsibility.

SOC.1.SS.1.A.2.1: Social Studies

Understand history tells the story of people and events of other times and places.

SOC.1.SS.1.A.2.2: Social Studies

Compare life now with life in the past.

SOC.1.SS.1.A.2.3: Social Studies

Identify celebrations and national holidays as a way of remembering and honoring the heroism and achievements of the people, events, and our nation's ethnic heritage.

SOC.1.SS.1.A.2.4: Social Studies

Identify people from the past who have shown character ideals and principles including honesty, courage, and responsibility.

SOC.2.SS.2.A.2.1: Social Studies

Recognize that Native Americans were the first inhabitants in North America.

SOC.2.SS.2.A.2.2: Social Studies

Compare the cultures of Native American tribes from various geographic regions of the United States.

SOC.2.SS.2.A.2.3: Social Studies

Describe the impact of immigrants on the Native Americans.
Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2009-08-05.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 3

Reviewer Comments:

This unit of study on the Native Americans of North America contains 12 distinct lessons. The unit begins and ends with a K-W-L chart for pre and post assessments. The unit encompasses Asian migration to North America, the geographic regions of North America and the tribes that inhabit those regions, and the first Thanksgiving. The individual lessons are clear and concise and offer step-by-step directions for implementation, including scripts for questions. Students will learn about how the tribes in each region met their basic needs and connections to their own lives. There are vocabulary words and worksheets for each lesson, as well as, a booklet that each student will make to capture the key information from the unit. Consider using the visual references as the catalyst for each lesson to shift towards student-centered learning. For enrichment, ask students to create or research a particular region’s shelter or methods for gathering/hunting food, or outlet for creative expression.
KateReynolds 523
I'd love to know the texts you were using. Thanks. Kate Reynolds reynolkm@uwec.edu

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