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Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Native Americans - Searching for Knowledge and Understanding
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Procedures for teachers is divided into four sections:
Prep -- Preparing for the lesson
Steps -- Conducting the lesson


  • LCD Projector
  • Wall Mounted Display Screen
  • Computer w/Internet Access, Word Processing
  • Chart Paper (a few sheets for each group)
  • Markers (a few for each group)

    Computer Resources:
    While many configurations will work, we recommend:

  • Modem: 28.8 Kbps or faster.

  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or above.

  • Macintosh computer: System 7.0 or above and at least 16 MBs of RAM.

  • IBM-compatible computer: 386 or higher processor with at least 16 MBs of RAM, running Windows 3.1. Or, a 486/66 or Pentium with at least 16 MBs of RAM, running Windows 95 or 98


    Before you begin, bookmark the following sites:

    Listing of Federally Recognized Native American Tribes
    Tribal directory provided by the American Indian Heritage Foundation that presents a map and listing of Federally Recognized American Indian Tribes.

    Native American Books
    Hundreds of reviews (children's, middle school, YA, adult); References; math-science, art-craft; AV-aids; features, sources. Indian viewpoints. Sources for hard-to-find books by Indian authors.

    Ablezaís listing of Native American literature
    This site provides a list of Native American literature produced by Ableza, a Native American Arts and Film Institute. The books link to, but students can use the site to read the reviews and then go to the library to check out the books.


    Words to an Apache song and some basic background on the Apaches.

    Official HOPI Cultural Preservation Office Home Page
    Provides information about the Hopi, including topics such as current issues, arts and culture.

    History of the Hopi and Alcatraz
    In 1895 nineteen Hopi were incarcerated on Alcatraz Island by the US Army for their resistance to government policies designed to destroy their religion and language. The National Park Service - Alcatraz Island with the Hopi Tribe Cultural Preservation Office presents several articles and photographs of this event in Hopi and Alcatraz history.

    Indian Reservations of the Four Corners Region
    Provides information about the Hopi, Navajo, and Ute people.

    Navajos of the Four Corners Region
    The Navajos live in the Four Corners Region of the American Southwest, where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah join.

    Time allotment: This lesson can be conducted over 3-5 class periods, with some additional research time allotted.


  • Begin the lesson by discussing with students the knowledge they already have about Native Americans using the K-W-L format. This is an excellent opportunity to uncover and dispel any myths the students have about Native Americans. Click here if you are unfamiliar with the K-W-L format and procedure. Give copies of K-W-L charts to students to fill in as you go over it on the board (see Organizers for Students). The goal of this beginning discussion is to increase student awareness of Native American influences on and contributions to United States history. Prior to the discussion, the classroom teacher may want to read:

    American Indian Stereotypes: 500 Years of Hate Crimes
    This is a piece of Social Science writing from a scholar at the University of South Dakota that explores racism against American Indians In U.S. history. Includes a bibliography for extended reading.

  • The Federal Government has a listing of tribal names and they can be located according to region at the following site. Students will be able to use this Tribal Directory as a resource to further their research.

  • Divide students into three groups. Their research will focus on the Apache, Hopi, and Navaho tribes. As students become engaged in the research and identify other tribes in which they have an interest, their lists may broaden. When writing their reports, students may select a tribe from their list of resources instead of the tribes focused on in this lesson.

  • Students will conduct investigative research on the Web using the recommended sites and may include additional sites generated by the group, in order to become familiar with the history, writings and symbols of their various tribal cultures.

  • Groups will select a literary work by a Native American author that relates to their specific tribe. Each group will implement a timeline for reading and discussing the work. Students will use the chart located in the Organizer for Students section. Students can begin researching titles using one of the sites listed in the lesson: Native American Books or Ableza Book Store.

  • Groups will organize information from research and readings. After working collaboratively, students will generate individual reports. Students should work in smaller groups or pairs to assess each others works using the performance descriptions of the New Standards and provide feedback for each other before submitting the final report to the classroom teacher.

    Examples of reports include (According to the New Standards):

  • An I-search essay: an essay that details a studentís search for information as well as the information itself; I-search papers are developed through a variety of means, e.g., interviews and observation, as well as traditional library research.

  • A saturation report: a report that recounts substantial information on a topic gathered by a student over a period of time.

  • A report produced as part of studies in subjects such as science, social studies and mathematics.

    Teachers are encouraged to allow students to select the report type.

    For Further Research:
    General Resources

    The Hohokam 200 B.C. -- 1450 A.D.
    The Hohokam peoples occupied a wide area of south-central Arizona from roughly Flagstaff south to the Mexican border.

    Extended List of Tribes
    Indian Tribes of North America (esp. in relationship to Jackson Era).

    Crossing Worlds
    Photos, images, information about tours and retreats in America's Southwest: Sedona, Arizona's Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly; New Mexico, Colorado, Utah; Native Americans, Hopis, Navajo; sacred sites, prehistoric cliff dwellings and rock art, soul journey in Sedona. Earth-Spirit Storefront with Hopi Kachina dolls.

    Desert Harvest
    Article follows Jessica Estrada and her grandmother on their journey to gather saguaro fruit. Discusses the traditions of the Tohono O'odham.

    Index of Native American Resources on the Internet
    Extensive directory of resources offers links to sites in such categories as history, language, art, government, organizations and health.

    Hopi of the Southwest
    From the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

    Other Tourist Sites:

    Desert U.S.A. - Sedona, Arizona
    Website of the city of Sedona, Arizona - includes history and geography of the area.

  • Overview | Procedures for Teachers | Organizers for Students