Native Americans of Rockland County

Project URL: www.teachersnetwork.org/teachnetusa/jfuchs/webquest.htm  

How it works:
This program is particularly valuable in teaching students the research process. Students gain an understanding of Native American cultures through the use of both secondary and primary sources. The curriculum unit is the fourth grade study of Native Americans in New York State. The students are shown some old Indian arrowheads and challenged to find out about them. Students learn how primary sources such as artifacts are used to gain an understanding of history. It is a joint project with the classroom teacher and the school library media specialist. The students set up their research project by brainstorming ideas about what the artifacts are. This brainstorming activity is recorded with the use of the Inspiration software program. The research project will be set up using a WebQuest format.

Standards addressed:  
Students use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York. They access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

Materials used:
Students need access to books from the school library on their topic. (Students from class can be selected to print a bibliography using the electronic catalog. They can then pull the books and place them on a special cart for classroom and library use.) A computer with Internet access and word processing software is required. An excellent video is  "Arrowheads, Blades & Knives" (produced by Burning Buffalo Productions and available from Anderson Marketing http://amsiweb.com/arrowhead/). This program is intended to be coordinated with the library media specialist.

The students:
Native Americans of Rockland County is designed for fourth grade social studies students. It can be extended to higher grade levels. Prior to beginning, students need to be familiar with navigating a WebQuest.

Overall value:
This program creates an interest in Native Americans on the part of students, who are introduced to the topic through the use of actual Native American artifacts. Teachers will want to adapt this project for their classes because it is flexible and offers a unique opportunity to integrate many areas of the curriculum into one project.

The lesson is organized around the Big6 Research Method using the WebQuest model. It is intended to integrate classroom instruction with library media instruction. As an introduction, students are given the arrowheads to handle and examine. Naturally, the arrowheads will generate some excitement and interest on the part of students. Students are then encouraged to ask questions about the arrowheads. Inspiration software is used to record the students' questions.


About the teachers:
Jennifer Fuchs teaches fourth-grade social studies at Bardonia. She has a BS in Education concentrating in History from St. Thomas Aquinas College. She is in the Master's degree program in Literacy at Adelphi University.

Anne Bryant is the library assistant at Bardonia. She has also worked as the computer lab coordinator and director of the publishing center at an elementary school. She is in the MLS program at Long Island University.

Mike Frerichs is the library media specialist for Bardonia. He received
his MLS from SUNY Albany. He also worked as an attorney for 19 years.


Subject Areas: 
Social Studies

Grade Levels: