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September 17, 2013

Tried it Tuesday: Native Californian Reports

What a day!

This week my class started working on our Native California Reports.  I love having the kids learn about the first people that lived in our state.  :)

For this unit I check out all the Native Californian books from the school library (we have about 20 of them).  After we do the initial lesson in our Social Studies book, I have the students choose what tribe they want to learn about and then they work in groups using the books.  While the informational books are great, they also take their research questions to the computer lab and practice looking up the information as well. (Yes, I do plan this lesson during the week it's my class' turn to head to the lab.)  
Native Americans Printables {Perfect for Interactive Notebooks}
After the research questions are complete, they get to move onto the next step.  In past years I had my students create file folder projects using different things I found online.... this year is different though.  I'm having them use these Native American graphic organizers from Cutesy Clickables (Collaboration Cuties) to condense the top facts onto one page.  :)  These pages will go inside their interactive folders.
California Native Americans Writing and Activity Pack
The research questions come from my California Native American Research And Writing Pack.  So after they have researched, written their graphic organizers, then it's time to start writing informational paragraphs about their tribe.  There are 10 prompts that I have them focus on, these come from the same  focus areas as the research information.  

The last written thing we tackle this week is plotting the area that the tribe lived on our maps of California.  Then it's just a matter of sharing it during presentations on Friday.  A very busy writing week.

What else do I do for this unit?  In our textbook it's only one lesson - I KNOW - ONE LESSON!!  It's a jam packed lesson, but I love having my students research and make connections...  remember 2 years ago when I tried weaving using yarn?  It worked but I had major headaches and nightmares...  last year the unit came and I said no way, never again...

Then I went to Michael's last Friday night for a couple of bottles of blue paint... and ended up leaving with a bunch of stuff... I picked up 4 kid's loom kits, and 4 extra bags of craft loops - making 32 pot holders (all using the teacher discount).  We are weaving like the pros in class.  It's one center that the kids are rotating through this week during research time/silent reading/workshop/morning work...  Monitoring 4 kids at a time is so much easier than 32 with weaving...   

Linking up with Holly and Tried it Tuesday.


  1. I love this! I like how you have students rotating to different SS centers, so not every kid is doing the same thing! Thanks for sharing!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  2. Great idea about rotating. This year I vow to incorporate more Social Studies into my reading block. Florida's 5th grade year is a huge testing year, so sometimes I tend to push SS aside for more Science. I've got to stop that! It's just so difficult to fit everything I want to do into the day. I'm trying to be better though!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. I can't even imagine having 32 students WEAVING at the same time! Wow!! I love how you have your students condense the top facts onto one page. :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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