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Cannavale, Vincent C. Voices from Colonial America: Florida, 1513–1821. Washington DC: National Geographic Children’s Books, 2006.
Key Groups: Adena (500 BC), Hopewell (100 BC)
Religion and Culture: Known as mound builders because they buried the dead in large earth mounds, these groups lived in small farming villages, which were likely run by leaders of clans (relatives). The villages grew and became increasingly complex, building trade networks and creating elaborate artwork using materials from as far away as the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. Adena culture was...
A carefully crafted lesson is structured with a well-defined focus and a clearly-stated purpose. The lesson should present the class with an issue that is phrased in the form of a problem to be solved or a question to be analyzed and assessed by the class. Effective lessons do not merely cover information; they present students with major concepts and ideas and challenge students to think critically and take positions on open-ended essential questions. Here are some examples of essential questions for students of American history:...
Some 40,000 years from now, give or take a few millennia, someone, somewhere in the universe may find and listen to the Golden Record, NASA’s attempt to describe Earth and its peoples to anyone out there who might be interested. There are actually two copies of the Golden Record, each on its own spacecraft, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, which were launched out into the cosmos in 1977, one year after the Bicentennial of the United States and almost five centuries after the first sustained encounters between the peoples of the...
The conquest of Tenochtitlan by Hernán Cortez in 1519 is one of the most well-known examples of encounters between Europeans and Americans prior to 1600. Some primary sources that document the event still exist, though many are quite difficult for elementary-age students to read and comprehend. This lesson will draw from sources that can be understood by children and will provide basic content knowledge of the event. Students will also be exposed to varying views on the conquest that are both contemporary to the...
The c onclusion that encounters between European settlers and Native Americans changed the lives of both groups has been central to many historical accounts of colonial history. While the arguments made are convincing, the discussions do not directly address the lives of women. It is possible that this omission is a result of a paucity of sources. Regardless of the problems with sources, the question may...
Early European explorers to the Americas likely experienced emotions including awe at the vast “new” environment, amazement at meeting “others,” the thrill of the unknown, concern for personal safety, desire for personal reward, and longing for their homeland and those left behind. Written and pictorial records attributed to Europeans provide the bulk of the records of these early travels. Impressions of natives as well as Native impressions of Europeans are frequently framed in the narratives of the explorers....
American Indians (First Nations in Canada) constructed homes to conform to their needs and environment. Housing for some tribal groups was permanent, while other residences reflected the need to relocate, often to adjust for a harvest season or to follow a source of food. Housing styles reflected these needs.Significance
Native American housing is frequently assumed to be represented by one or two well-known styles such as the teepee or pueblo. While these do reflect distinct tribal designs,...
This unit is part of Gilder Lehrman’s series of Common Core State Standards–based teaching resources. These units were developed to enable students to understand, summarize, and analyze original texts of historical significance. Through this step-by-step process, students will acquire the skills to analyze any primary or secondary source material.
Over the course of three lessons the students will analyze sources about the voyage of the Pilgrims to America aboard the...