Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.
Upon completion of this lesson on Native American pottery, students will be able to:
- Ask and answer questions about Native American pottery.
- Use domain-specific language to describe the process for making pottery.
- Students will recreate some of the decorations on the pots and discuss the symbolism.
Common Core Curriculum Standards
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
- ancestral land
- Copies of quiz
- Copies of the lessons
- Access to reference materials
- Chart paper
- Miniature terra cotta pots
- Acrylic paints
- Paint brushes
Reading & Discussion Questions
- Preview vocabulary with students before reading the lesson.
- Read Native American Pottery: History, Facts & Symbols as a class, and discuss the following questions:
- When did Native American pottery first appear?
- What are some of the locations of the earliest Native American artifacts?
- Where did the pottery making in the southwestern United States originate from?
- Why is pottery different in various parts of the southwest?
- Describe the lifestyle of the tribes who made pottery.
- How was pottery first created?
- Describe the coil technique for pottery-making.
- Describe the slab technique for pottery making.
- What types of materials were used to make pottery?
- What are some techniques for decorating pottery?
- How do firing techniques vary by tribe?
- How do potters determine the decoration for each pot?
- Describe the decorations of various pueblos.
- How is Navajo pottery different from Pueblo pottery?
- Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.
- Check the answers as a class.
Map and Timeline
Materials needed: copies of lesson, chart paper, markers, access to reference materials
- Divide students into small groups. Provide each group with materials.
- Have groups sketch a map of North America on chart paper.
- Have students label the map with dates, locations, and sketches of Native American pottery that was found there. Students may use reference materials as needed.
Materials needed: miniature terra cotta pots, acrylic paints, paint brushes, access to reference materials, paper, pens
- Assign students to one of the following pueblos: Taos, Picuris, Santa Clara, Tsuque, Cochiti, Kewa.
- Have students look up examples and techniques used to decorate pottery in the pueblo.
- Students use acrylic paints and brushes to decorate a terra cotta pot using the designs that were used by that pueblo.
- Students write a report that describes pottery by that pueblo and explains their decoration. Students will use vocabulary words in the report.
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