Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.
After this lesson, students will be able to:
- describe how Native American discoveries contributed to modern food and medicine production
- discuss various fields of science to which Native Americans have contributed
- summarize the importance of Native American discoveries to their survival
This lesson will take 45-90 minutes.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
- Johnnycakes (or skillet, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and oil to make Johnnycakes with students)
- Internet access
- Poster paper
- Print outs or photographs related to early engineering, botany, and medicine
- Glue sticks
Let students work with a partner to brainstorm a list of things they think European explorers learned from Native Americans. Give pairs of students the opportunity to share what they have written.
Read the text lesson Native American Contributions to Science as a class. Pause after reading the ''New World Science'' and ''Food Science'' sections of the lesson.
Discuss the types of foods Native Americans relied on to make it through the winter and how their discoveries about food have contributed to the food science industry. Either make or provide a small taste of a Johnnycake for students and discuss other things that could be made from corn.
Read the ''Medicine'' section of the lesson.
Divide students into small groups. Have groups create a chart of Native American medicinal herbs that were used for narcotics, anesthetics, and to cure diseases. Provide students access to internet research as necessary. Allow groups to discuss their findings with the class and whether or not these herbs are still considered effective.
Read the remainder of the lesson with students.
Divide the students into 3 groups. Assign each group to learn more about one of the following: Native American engineering, Native American astronomy, and Native American botany. Have students chart their findings. Then hand out poster paper for each group to create a poster with visuals, such as photographs, that describes Native American influence in their assigned field of science. Have student groups present their poster to the class.
Use the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.
Have students select one of the essential Native American foods or medicines and create a visual timeline describing how its use has been changed over time.
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