The month of November recognizes Native American Heritage Month in the United States. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge the many contributions Native Americans made to the nation and celebrate their rich heritage.
Connections to the Land
In fact, there are over 570 federally recognized tribes with more than 5 million members. Each tribe has their own culture, celebrates their own traditions, and come from across the United States. In fact, all public land today was once tribal land.
There are a number of public lands, as noted by the Department of the Interior, with powerful Native American connections. The areas are vast and beautiful with fascinating stories to explore. The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail crosses through several states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee and marks the forced removal of five southern tribes. Approximately 100,000 Native Americans were forcibly removed from their homelands over a span of 20 years. Meanwhile, strikingly beautiful locations like Bryce Canyon in Utah and Crow Canyon in New Mexico reveal a rich heritage of storytelling and Navajo petroglyphs or carved rock art.
There are many more geographic locations to explore that feature Native American heritage and unique opportunities to incorporate these lessons in the classroom.
Explore Culture & Traditions in the Classroom
The National Museum of the American Indian provides a number of resources and lessons to support classroom instruction. The lessons explore a range of subjects from relationships with animals and food to dwellings and clothing.
The 3Doodler educator community shared lessons to deepen understanding of the land and geography for students in grades 3-8. Each lesson could be modified for a particular location and expanded upon as needed. Students will no doubt be excited to learn new concepts about our connection to the land while using a 3D pen to express ideas.
Grade 3-5: 3D Geography My Land
Explore geography and add vocabulary with a lesson in landforms! Students will use their knowledge of landforms to create a map with a compass rose and key. The map will include at least one 3D landform, made with the 3Doodler pen. This lesson offers flexibility to tailor learning to a particular geographic region.
Grade 6-8: The Symbol of My Nation
This unique lesson presents an opportunity for students to learn about Native Americans in their community and create a meaningful symbol to represent the group that they research. The lesson is written to focus on Wisconsin-native First Nation group, but could be altered for any geographic location. Students will showcase their symbol as part of their classroom presentation.