National Museum of the American Indian

Engagement_National Museum of the American Indian

LILI Unit: National Museum of the American Indian

Essential Question: How does environment affect culture? Pre-trip lesson: Students study the cultures of several Native American nations by investigating objects, resources, and traditions important o those peoples. The lesson revolves around a mystery: objects from these nations have gone missing. Students are tasked with learning why these objects are important and where they went. A series of inquiry-based, collaborative activities lead students to understanding of both of these prompts.
Level of Difficulty: High Trip: Students track the missing objects to the National Museum of the American Indian. They discover that raven – a key figure in native stories – brought the objects here. While participating in a story about Raven, students figure out why he took the objects. Then, they go find them in the museum and extend their knowledge about those cultures.
Academic Standards:

  • English Language Arts (CC.4.RI.2, CC.4.L.4.a)
  • Social Studies (4.2.1, 4.3.6, 4.6.4)
Post-trip lesson: As a culminating activity, students file a case report detailing the objects they found and arguing why those objects should be preserved in a museum. Students also test their knowledge of various Native American cultures as they compete in a collaborative review game and take written assessments.