NYCDOE: Passport to Social Studies - grade 4, unit 2
This is the second unit of the grade four scope and sequence, titled: Native Americans: First Inhabitants of New York State. It was developed by a team of NYCDOE staff and teachers, in collaboration with scholars of the humanities and social sciences as well as museum curators. Students will immerse themselves in the topic by discussing focus questions, reading and analyzing a rich collection of diverse primary and secondary sources, examining historical artifacts, and interpreting images, such as paintings and maps.
In this unit, students will explore the ways in which Native American groups, specifically the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) and Algonquian-speaking peoples (Mahicans, Shinnecock, and Lenni Lenape), who lived in the southern parts of New York State, in what is now Long Island and the Hudson River Valley, interacted with their environment to develop unique, and complex cultures. Topics and historical concepts of representative lessons in this unit include: research and identify elements of Native American culture and beliefs through myths and the storytelling tradition; examine geographic factors that influenced locations of early settlements; compare and contrast the ways people made use of natural resources to meet their basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter, and analyze how Native American groups developed specific patterns of organization and governance to manage their societies.
To evaluate student mastery of content knowledge, cognitive processes, and critical thinking skills, this unit includes formative assessments, and performance-based assessment activity, which has Students answer two questions, one based on current society and the other based on prior knowledge and an image of Native Americans. What makes a community successful? How did the first Native Americans living in New York work, survive, and govern their society to create a successful community?
Please note: the complete set of NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies Core Curriculum materials include a wide-range of trade books and primary documents, in addition to this unit of study. In order to support rigorous social studies instruction and student inquiry, we recommend that teachers integrate these resources into their daily instruction and assessment plans.
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