Travel guides to colonial america

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Teaching American History 2

For Participants in the Summer Institute, 2007

Colonial Communities and Institutions

Grade 5
Description of the Travel Guide

In groups, teachers in the Summer Institute will produce Travel Guides to various regions of Colonial America. These travel guides will serve as resources/models for 5th grade students, who will in turn do their own research and create their own guides. Each Travel Guide will focus on one of these geographical areas (from HSS standard 5.1): the Great Plains, the Pacific Northwest, the Northeast /Atlantic Coast, the Mississippi Corridor, and the Desert Southwest. The Travel Guides will contain descriptions of the communities that developed and changed over a period of approximately 300 (1500 to the early 1800s) in each region.
Travel Guide Chapters

  • There are three chapters in each regional Travel Guide. The chapters focus on these chronological eras in the region (approximately; may change slightly from group to group):

Chapter 1: 1500s

Chapter 2: 1600s

Chapter 3: 1700s

  • Each chapter describes:

a. the various cultural groups that lived in that area during the target time period (HSS 5.1, 5.2, 5.3)

b. the environment and resources of the area, as well as the political, cultural, social, and economic institutions that evolved and changed over the time period (HSS 5.1, 5.3, 5.4) as new people arrived and the communities grew.

Culminating Activity:
In addition to completing the Travel Guide (written component),

each group will present a travelogue about their region, including a multi-part diorama (visual component) and a series of 3 narratives (oral component).

Lesson Plan for


Desert Southwest 1000-1500


Chad Hunt, Aaron Prysock, Diana Garcia, Loretta Rockwell

Teaching American History 2

Summer Institute 2007
I. Lesson objective:

Students will create their own travel guides and travelogues, demonstrating that they understand the economic, social, cultural, environmental and political factors that influenced the people living in various regions of North America during the colonial era, and the ways communities changed and evolved over that time period. Students will be working in groups to complete individual tasks, share out with their peers, and to create a final product together.

II. Standards addressed
a. History/Social Studies: 5.1, 5.2.4, 5.3, 5.4

b. English/Language Arts: R 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5; W 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.3; LC 1.0; LS 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, S 2.1, 2.2

III. Instructional Activities
a. Into
1. Introduce geography: Using a map of North America, point out areas that were claimed by various European powers. Show the location of the specific region and community they will be studying.

2. If you have a class timeline, show where the focus time period is located and mark it on the timeline.

3. Show film clip or pictures showing the type of environment in the region. Have the students say what environmental features and resources they see in the film or pictures; write their responses on chart paper.

4. Ask students to talk to a partner about these questions: "What would be good about living in this place? What would be bad?" Discuss their responses.

5. Continue to set the stage and build interest by letting them know generally what they will be learning about: explain a little about the community, the overall political situation in the region during the time period, some intriguing questions and facts, etc. If you wish, do a KWL chart.

6. Explain the final project: show them a completed Travel Guide as a model, give a short narration as an example of their oral presentations, and explain the diorama project. It would be good to show them a completed diorama as an example, or a slide of one.

7. Introduce vocabulary: some or all of the underlined words in all the Information Sheets (see Resources.) Post them on your focus wall along with pictures, synonyms, antonyms and/or realia. Continue to refer to these words throughout the lesson. Below is one technique you can use to teach the academic vocabulary.
Direct instruction lesson on suffixes and prefixes

  1. Provide direct instruction to teach the EL students that a suffix changes the part of speech of the word, and that a prefix changes the meaning of the word.

  2. Provide a list of highlighted vocabulary words, and ask the students to circle the suffixes and prefixes in each of the words.

b. Through

1. Students will work in 5 groups to research one of these themes: economy, environment, culture, society or politics in the focus region during the focus century. Form groups and pass out the rubric, the note-taking guides and e-sheets to each one. You might give them each a two-pocket folder to keep everything in.

2. Differentiation: below is one strategy you can use to adapt your lesson for EL students.

Give One & Get One:

  1. Students will each choose one academic vocabulary word to study and share with a partner.

  2. After taking turns, students may choose a new partner to share vocabulary with.

  3. Students will need to write down each others ideas on a teacher created form and be prepared to share out to the whole group.

  4. A variation of this would be for you to make homogenous or heterogeneous partners.

3. Allow students time to research their particular theme. They can use websites, books, primary documents and pictures supplied by the teacher. They should record information they find on their e-sheets using the websites specified, and/or on their note-taking guides. Teacher should help students skim and scan books for information, using District/School approved methods and techniques for accessing expository text.

4. After they have had time to do their own research, teacher may choose to give each group, or certain groups, a copy of the teacher-made Information Sheet on the group's theme. They can use it to add to, correct, and/or edit their information for accuracy (NOT to copy the information!).

5. Student groups use the information in their note guides and e-sheets to write their “chapters” of the Travel Guide on the theme they researched. These will be similar in format and content to the teacher-made Information Sheets. Here you can refer to the lesson in the Houghton Mifflin 5th grade Language Arts text for a "Research Report," found in the Reading/Writing Workshop for Theme 5, "One Land, Many Trails."

6. Students prepare short oral reports/narratives based on their research. Here you can refer to the lesson for an "Oral Report" found in Selection 3 of Theme 5 in the 5th grade H.M. Language Arts text.

7. Student groups create multi-part dioramas illustrating the ways in which the environment, economy, society, culture or politics changed and evolved during the time period. They may draw, or create replicas of, images and artifacts.

8. Each group's final product will have three parts: (1) and (2), the diorama and oral presentation (“Travelogue”), and (3) the written "Travel Guide" itself.
c. Beyond

1. ASSESSMENT: All of the student groups present their Travelogues to the rest of the class at the same time in a gallery-walk format. One or two students from each group remain at the diorama and give the oral report on their theme; members of the other groups are assigned to listen to them. At a signal from the teacher, students switch so all have a chance to give the report and see all the dioramas. Students who are listening use the Student Evaluation Rubric to assess their peers' presentations.

2. Teachers can use rubrics in the adopted Language Arts text to score the written Travel Guide.

3. After the groups have presented, and everything is scored, all of the "chapters" can be stapled together to make a class book, "Travel Guide to......"

4. Students can find out what is happening in their geographic region today by searching newspapers, the web, magazines, etc. for information about current people, or environmental/economic/societal/political issues. Create an interactive bulletin board with information that students bring in.

5. Is there an important environmental issue faced by the region today that your students can investigate? Can you link that to the 5th grade science standards?

IV. Resources

This is a list of all the texts, research books, websites, magazine articles, pictures, videos, posters, artifacts, etc. that are needed for this lesson.

Arnold, Caroline. The Ancient Cliff Dwellers of Mesa Verde. New York: Clarion Books, 1980.

Bruggmann, Acatos: Pueblos: Prehistoric Indian Cultures of the Southwest; Facts on File, NY, NY;1990

Sita, Lisa. Indians of the Southwest Traditions, History, Legends, and Life. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens Publishing, 1997.
Yue, Charlotte and David. The Pueblo. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1986.

V. Attachments

1. Student rubric: use the one attached below.

2. Student e-sheets : copy and paste your e-sheets below

3. Teacher-made information sheets on these themes: copy and paste your information sheets below.
a. economy

b. society

c. culture

d. environment

e. politics

4. Other: copy and paste any other relevant information you’d like to include (such as maps, primary resources, etc.) that might help students in their research.

Student Name: ________________

Which group are you evaluating?

___ politics ___ environment

___ economy ___ society ___ culture
As you look at this group's diorama and listen to them talk, answer these questions:
1. What did you learn from the group's oral presentation?
2. What questions do you have after hearing the oral presentation?
3. Does the diorama show how the community changed because of the influence of the group's theme?
Yes_____ No______
5. What things in the diorama show the changes?

6. What is missing from the diorama, or what questions do you have about it?

Name: _____________________________

Date: _____________________________

Pueblo Indian Economy of the Desert Southwest

State Standard: Grade 5 HSS 5.3, 5.4

Task One:

Go to this website to answer the following question:
1. During the Classic Pueblo Period (1050-1300) and after, what two art forms continued to advance that helped shape their economy?

Task Two:

Go to this website to answer the following questions:
2. Aside from cultivating the land to help their economy, what were the men responsible for creating, and what were the women responsible for creating to help their tribe’s trade economy?

Task Three:

Go to this website to answer the following question:
3. Describe where the Anasazi region was, and explain how it limited certain resources for trade.

Name: __________________________

Date: __________________________

Desert Southwest Culture and Society

State Standard: Grade 5 HSS 5.1

Task One:

Go to this website and answer the following questions on this page, then print a copy of the finished worksheet for me.

1. What social and religious purposes did the Kiva serve?

Task Two:

Go to this website to answer the following questions:
2. Which Native American tribe claims that the Anasazi are their ancestors?
3. What does the word “Anasazi” mean in their language?
Task Three:

Go to this website to answer the following question:
4. The Anasazi followed a precise alignment along a meridian for more than 600 kilometers. Use the above website and research this. Read their possible solution and then come up with your own. Make sure to explain your answer.

Task Four:

Go to this website to answer the following question:
5. After visiting the above website and checking out the rock art create your own artwork with markers and brown bags.

Name: ____________________________

Date: ____________________________

Title: Desert Southwest Environment

State Standard: Grade 5 HSS 5.1

Task One:

Go to this website and answer the following questions on this page, then print a copy of the finished worksheet for me.

Use the web links, books, and information I have given you to help you find the answers.

1. Name three landforms and quickly sketch them. Then go to the following website and look at pictures of your landform. If the one you chose is not there simply check out other ones that interest you.

Task Two:

2. Name three trees and also three flowers that are native to the southwest.

Task Three:

3. Find 3 animals found in the southwest region of the US and explain how they adapt to their environment.

Name: ______________________________

Date: ____________ _________________

Pueblo Indian Politics of the Desert Southwest

State Standard: Grade 5 HSS 5.3, 5.4

Task One:

After reading the information sheet, please answer the following question:

1. Please explain how the Pueblo people used kivas in their everyday life.

Task Two:

After reading the information sheet, please answer the following question:

2. Please explain the three levels of society that were based upon where a pueblo person lived.

Task Three:

Go to this website to answer the following question:
3. What kind of government did they have?

Task Four:

After reading the information sheet, please answer the following question:

4. Please describe the marriage rituals of the Desert Southwest people.

Economy of the Desert Southwest 1000-1500

The economy of a tribe relied greatly upon the resources that were available to the local people. Among the resources of the Desert Southwest people, there were many different types of agriculture, or crops that they grew for food, animals that they would hunt, water, clay to make pottery, salt to season and preserve food, local grasses for weaving, and precious stones and gems used to make jewelry and beads to trade. Trade was so important to their economy that they created water reservoirs and a system of irrigation to grow more crops to trade.

Did you ever wonder why people traded things to get what they needed or wanted? One reason why the Desert Southwest people traded was because they wanted or needed some of the items or resources that they could only get through trade. For example, the pueblo people were only capable of growing certain crops because of the dry, hot climate that they lived in. They grew corn, beans, squash, and cotton, and would travel long distances to trade these items for other vegetables. They also traded among different tribes so that they could socialize and meet new people.

To trade, the people of the Desert Southwest would create beautiful pottery, or weave baskets out of local grasses. Then, they would walk for many miles in the desert heat carrying all of their items for trade. There were three major trade areas for the Pueblo people, and each had clearly marked roads and trails for the traders to follow. Traders carried precious stones and gems, as well as beads and shells, in special pouches that served as their wallets. These beads and stones could be used like money to trade for items.

While in the trade areas, the Pueblo people would trade their produce, pottery, baskets, blankets, beads, precious stones and gems, jewelry, salt and spices, and clothing and leather. Necklaces made of deer teeth were very popular, as was deer skin, turquoise, and parrots from Mexico that were prized for their bright and colorful feathers. Rods of hollow bone were also decorated with paint and precious beads, and were used as a status symbol for the owner.

At some point in time, though, the people of the Desert Southwest decided that trade was not as important for it’s tribe members anymore. They stopped trading as much during the 1400-1500’s, and moved more towards a lifestyle that gave less importance to wealth and material items, such as beads, stones, and jewelry, and gave more importance to their families, tribes, and spiritual lives.

Culture and Society

Southwest Region of the US before 1500AD

Anasazi were peaceful farmers. At harvest, everyone was needed to help gather the corn, squash, and beans that grew on the flat top of the table-like mountain. Men, women, and children all worked together to harvest this food because they had to get it all in a short amount of time.
Harvest dances were performed each year. Members of the village dressed like eagles, wolves, and ferocious giants wearing painted masks. They jumped and danced to the pounding of drums. They also dressed like corn maidens and butterflies. They even had painted clowns that made them laugh and smile. Children watched and thought these were strange creatures from another land. When you got older you participated in the dances. These ceremonies were meant to thank the gods for the harvest and to prepare for the hunts and harvests to come.
There were other native people who lived in this region of the US. The Navaho were nomads, wanderers in this southwest area who sometimes raided and stole from the Anasazi. The word Anasazi means “ancient enemies” in the Navaho language. In contrast, the Anasazi were peaceful farmers who stayed in one location throughout the year. They built a sort of stone castle tucked under a mountain roof. They planted their crops above, on the mesa. Imagine climbing 700 feet up on a ladder to reach the crops each day. One mistep and you would fall to your death. All the materials to build these dwellings had to be carried up and down these ladders. Once built there were many rooms, towers, and kivas(round rooms). These stuctures can still be seen today in the 4 corners region of the US.
The Anasazi were a sharing community, and deeply religious. Everyone had to have the same beliefs. There was absolutely no freedom to hold different religious views. The Anasazi believed that the sun brought life. Tradition, order, and harmony were very important. The priest was the most important person in the village.
Entertainment came in many forms. Music embodied life. Flutes were played made from reeds. Drumming, singing, and dancing occurred throughout the year. They played a ball game in the kivas. 5th graders were a little to young to play but in a couple of years you could participate if you were a man. Running was important because there were no animals to ride. The fastest runners became hunters of rabbits, pronghorn, deer, and elk.
There is so much more to learn about the culture and society of the Anasazi. If you want to learn more check out a book, use the e-sheets or do your own web search…

Environment of the Southwest 1000-1500

The environment of the southwest was varied, but it was all semi-arid or arid land, and drought was always a constant danger. Some of the land was hot, dry desert. Much of the area was mountain tablelands. Most of the land was rocky or had a sandy, clay-like soil. Some of the valleys were well watered, but not always well suited for agriculture, being too narrow and having too short a growing season. Many of the streams and rivers dried up for months at a time. Rainfall was sometimes heavy, but the rain was quickly absorbed into the dry, clay earth and evaporated quickly into the dry atmosphere. Thunderstorms were seen all around, yet no rain would fall in one place for months at a time. There were strong winds, especially in the spring, little humidity, and many cloudless days of intense, glaring sunlight. The temperatures ranged from scorching, midday heat to very cold nights.

In this vast region, the Colorado River and its tributaries were not navigable. It wound through deep canyons, high plateaus, and wide mesas. This region had rugged mountain ranges, and the valleys were full of pine, juniper, and the pinon tree and its cones. The southern most area was desert land with sagebrush and cacti. Farther east, the Rio Grande River flowed through the entire area we now call the state of New Mexico. This varied landscape covered the states of Arizona, New Mexico, southeast Utah, southwest Colorado, and part of western Texas.

This area was home to many species of animals including mountain lion, coyote, jackrabbit, mule deer, antelope, sheep, ground squirrel, peccary, rattlesnake, cactus wren, red-tail hawk, and turkey. Native plants included the giant barrel cactus, sagebrush, yucca, and snakeweed.

The Anasazi lived in harmony with nature, using all the natural resources in their environment. They used every part of the animals they hunted. Bones were used to make tools, clothing, blankets, and flutes. Plants were used to make baskets, clothing, and sandals. Trees provided the framework for buildings and homes (pit houses). Clay was used for pottery. Stone was used for constructing buildings, protecting them from enemies and the environment. It was also used to make tools and jewelry. Another resource they had was the soil for farming. The rivers were an important source for irrigation of crops.

In spite of its natural beauty, this was a harsh environment which forced the people to move many times during their long occupation of the southwest. They built homes, planted crops, and remained in one place for many seasons until drought, disappearance of water, soil exhaustion, disease, fire, flood or warfare forced them to move and rebuild their homes.

Politics of the Desert Southwest 1000-1500

During the period between 1000 and 1500 in the Desert Southwest, the politics of the pueblo people were focused around the men. Every day men would meet in small ceremonial rooms, called kivas, which were dug underground. These rooms were entered into through the roof by a ladder. While inside the kivas, the men would decide laws, discuss problems, hold religious ceremonies, and participate in ceremonial dances and songs. Kivas were also a place where a man would contest a rule or law of the tribe.

Although the community was governed by a group of men, the priest was the person who was truly in charge of the tribe. The priest was responsible for listening to people who were contesting rules. He would listen to each side of the argument, and he would then rule in favor of what was best for the tribe. The pueblo people of the Desert Southwest were a very peaceful people, and worked towards peace and harmony within their tribes.
While the men were busy deciding the rules and laws of the tribe, the women were working to control the every day life of the tribe. Their duties included directing the where and when the tribes planted crops, harvested crops, and even when they went to war. If the men wished to go to war with another tribe, the women would decide whether or not they had enough food and supplies to give the men time to take away from the crops to go to war. It was in this way that the women had some power among the men.
Among the rules of the community, the rules that governed marriage were some of the most interesting. Boys and girls would get married when they were teenagers, and the ceremony was very different than today’s. To begin, a girl would spend four days outside a boy’s hut grinding corn. If after the fourth day the boy approved of the girl’s ground corn, he would then weave her a pair of sandals out of yucca fiber. Once he placed the yucca sandals on the girl’s feet, they were then married. Can you imagine being married to someone just because they put your shoes on your feet?
But not all of the tribe members were equal. Among the Desert Southwest people, there were three levels of society. Within the Great Pueblos of the cliffs lived the tribe members who held the central power, and were the rulers of the tribes. Any outlying pueblos housed the people who would be leaders of specific areas, or regions. Finally, the people who lived in villages outside of the pueblos were responsible for the provisions, or food and water, of the tribes.


1. America’s Wonderlands, Scenic National Parks and Monuments of the United States. National Geographic Book Service, 1961.

2. Arizona in Words and Pictures, Dennis B. Fradin, Childrens Press Regensteiner Publishing Company, Chicago, 1980.

3. The Four Corners Region of the United States Cultures, Ruins and Landmarks, Lilly Ann Santorelli

4. Beginning Crafts, Alice Gilbreath, Follett Publishing Company, Chicago. 1972.

5. Child of the Navajos, Seymour Reitt, Dodd, Mead and Company, New York, 1971.

6. Colorado in Words and Pictures, Dennis B. Fradin, Childrens Press Regensteiner Publisher, Chicago, 1980.
7. Glimpses of Our National Parks, Isabelle F. Story, U.S.Government Printing Office. Washington, 1934.
8. Indian Arts, Robert Hofsinde, Gray Wolf, William Morrow and Company New York, 1971.
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10. Our National Parks Enlarged, Irving Robert Melbo, Books 1 and 2, Bobbs Merrill Company, New York, 1964.

11. Our National Parks in Color, Devereux Butcher, Clarkson N. Potter Publisher, New York, 1968.

12. Standing Up For Our Country, The Canyonlands of Utah and Arizona C. Gragory Crampton, Random House, 1964.
13. Talking Totem Poles, Glenn Holder, Dodd, Mead, and Company, New York, 1973.

14. The Art of Southwest Indians, Shirley Glubok, Macmillan Company, New York, 1971.

15. The Native Americans, Navajos, Richard Erdoes, Sterling Publishing Company, Oak Tree Press, New Yor, 1978.

16. The Navajo, Sonia Bleaker, William Morrow Company, New York, 1958.

17. The New Enchantment of America. Arizona, Allan Carpenter, Childrens .Press, Regensteiner Publishing, Chicago, 1979
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19. The Story of the Southwest, May McNeer, Harper and Brothers, Artists and Writers Guild, Inc. New York, 1948.

20. Utah in Words and Pictures, Dennis B. Fradin, Childrens Press, Regensteiner Publishing, Chicago, 1980.

Teaching American History 2

Summer Institute 2007

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