Thursday, November 20, 2014

Adaptation Simulation

I tried something new this year during my introduction of Native American Indians. 

New. Favorite. Intro. Period. 

A big focus, according to our standards, is on how the different Native American groups (and people in general) adapted to their regional environments. Starting at the beginning, we talked about how groups of hunter/gathers crossed the land bridge and began settling across the continent. 
I then gave my groups a tube with different pictures of natural resources found in their "region". I also added a larger picture of the natural environment to help them visualize it. 
If you are interested in this activity, check it out HERE at my TPT store! 


 They had to come up with adaptations for shelter, food, transportation, and clothing using the natural resources provided in their tubes. It was SO cool listening to them discuss how they would utilize the resources. Some of them came up with very innovative creations, while some of them were DEAD on with what the natives in that particular region used for shelter and clothing. The activity also allowed for great connection between what they already know about survival and Native American culture (for example, my arctic region immediately went to ice block houses and many of them chose animal skin clothing.) An active KWL if you will ;0) 

Students presenting their environment and adaptations 
As we learned about the different regions we traded out OUR adaptations for the actual adaptions by the different regional groups. 
The most profound impact for me was their internalization of HOW a group of people adapt. Throughout the rest of our unit, I was impressed at how often they connected what they were learning about the Native Americans to how THEY had decided to survive. 
"Look! They adapted by using a similar shelter to ours!" 
"Wow, they used cotton for clothing, we didn't even think of using that!" 
"I know why they raised their houses off the ground, there are poisonous reptiles and alligators roaming around!" 

Success. 
Teacher heart is full. 
If you are interested in this activity, check it out HERE at my TPT store! 
Here are some more Native American Activities: 
Native Americans Linky
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