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One Nation, Many Cultures

 

Introduction Task Process Resources Evaluation Conclusion
Teacher Page


Introduction: 

Every year the Smithsonian Institution sponsors the Folk Life Festival, which occurs on the Mall during the week leading up to the Fourth of July. Each year several different ethnic groups are selected to share aspects of their culture. Next year, the organizers of the Folk Life Festival have decided to celebrate Native American culture.

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Task:   

The Smithsonian is seeking proposals from different Native American groups for representation at next year’s Folk Life Festival. It is logistically impossible to represent all the tribes and nations in North America.  As a result, the organizers of the festival plan on choosing only a handful of groups to represent Native American culture. You have been approached by one such Native American group to develop a plan to present to the Smithsonian so that your group may secure a spot at the Folk Life Festival. Your group needs to become experts in all aspects of the culture of the Native American group you represent. Then your group needs to decide which activities best represent your tribe and would be appropriate as an exhibit at the Folk Life Festival.

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Process:

Step One: First you need to do some research about the Native American group you represent. Each member of your group will have a role. Discover as much as you can about the different aspect of the culture. Begin by reading about your tribe so that when you have your first meeting with your group you can decide what aspect of the culture you want to investigate in depth.  

Step Two: Meet with your group to decide your roles. Once you have decided your role, you are ready to become an expert in the aspect of the culture you selected. Remember, the Smithsonian Institution emphasizes how geography affects the culture of the groups featured at the festival. Become familiar with the Physical Features web site produced by Carnegie Mellon University to guide your thinking. 

Roles

Role One-Geography Expert

Click here to access a study guide/worksheet to help you during your research. 

Role Two-Food Expert

Click here to access a study guide/worksheet to help you during your research. 

Role Three-Clothing Expert

Click here to access a study guide/worksheet to help you during your research. 

Role Four-Storytelling Expert

Click here to access a study guide/worksheet to help you during your research. 

Role Five-Shelter Expert

Click here to access a study guide/worksheet to help you during your research. 

 

Role Six-Arts Expert

Click here to access a study guide/worksheet to help you during your research. 

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Step Three:  Gather information about your Native American group depending upon what expert role you have chosen. You must use three different sources and fill out an expert sheet for each source. Be sure to collect examples, or references to them, so you can show your classmates illustrated examples at your group meeting.

Step Four: Group Meeting. Meet with the other experts in your group. The purpose of your meeting is:

Use the group meeting guide provided by your teacher to help you organize the group meeting.

Step Five: Group work time. Work with fellow group members to complete your presentation. Remember you are creating a presentation to persuade the Event Organizer at the Folk Life Festival to select your Native American group. You need to come up with a presentation that includes examples of the activities that your group will perform at the Folk Life Festival. Your presentation may be a powerpoint presentation, an oral presentation with visual display, or a written report/proposal with visual display. Use the checklist to guide your work.

Step Six: Dress rehearsal. Practice your presentation with your group. Make sure your visual display whether it is a poster or a Powerpoint presentation is located so that the audience can see it. Plan to give the presentation as if you were presenting a proposal to a group of people from the Smithsonian Institution.

Step Seven: Present. Good Luck! Now is your chance to show your class how much you've learned about the culture you studied.

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Resources:

Online Resources 

Print Resources-See your media specialist.

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Evaluation:

Students will be assessed according to a rubric


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  Conclusion:  Conclusion: 

Now that you have completed your presentation of Native American culture, you may want to share your work online with the rest of the fifth grade. Use the digital camera to take photographs of your display. You can use the web authoring software on the media center or classroom computers to create a web page to display the photographs of your exhibit and your Powerpoint presentation if you made one

You can continue your study of Native American cultures using the books and websites collected for this project. You may visit the Welcome Center of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC to discover more information and to see how the Smithsonian Institution is planning a constructing this new museum and prepares to present and display artifacts from different cultures.

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Credits

  Graphics courtesy of the American Memory Project, Library of Congress.


Introduction Task Process Resources Evaluation Conclusion
Created By:
Susan Mackey
Media Specialist
Kensington Parkwood ES
, MCPS, Maryland
Last updated September 09, 2002