Native Americans: Teaching Tips

Native American Tribes and Cultural Groups - Teaching Tips

December 10th, 2018

Social Studies Native Americans

By using the Native American Tribes and Native American Cultural Groups maps, you can help your students learn about the First Americans in creative and engaging ways. Below are some suggestions for how to implement these games in your classroom.

Before beginning a First Americans Unit, have students use the “Native American Cultural Groups” map, first on “Learn” mode, then on “Pin” mode. This way, students will gain an understanding of the geography of North America and be able to visualize the different regions where Native American tribes lived.

After having students explore North America using the “Native American Cultural Groups” map, you can go over the different regions more explicitly, either through a PowerPoint, or with a stations activity - showing students images and brief descriptions of each region.

Once your students have a solid understanding of the different geographic regions of North America, you can begin diving into the specific tribes that lived on the continent and how they adapted to their different environments. Consider spending a day or two on a number of different tribes (e.g. Algonquians, Apache, Pueblo, Chinook, Aleuts, Seminole, etc.) and then have your students use the “Native American Tribes” map on “Pin” mode to prove they know where each of these tribes lived.

You could also utilize the “Native American Tribes” map to help your students learn about different tribes while simultaneously helping them practice their cardinal directions and geographic regions of North America. For this activity, the students should have the map set to “Place the labels” mode. Have your students pull up the map and then give them hints about where each of the tribes lived. For example, you could say, “The Seminoles lived on a peninsula in the southeast, where they had access to coastal plains.” Students should then select “Seminoles” and click on where they believe they lived, based on the information you gave them.

Consider using these interactive maps as part of an end-of-unit assessment, to test their knowledge as well as their technological proficiency.