The activities in Scholastic Explorers: Native American Cultures
can be used with grades 4–8. Younger students will require
more structure and support in doing independent research projects.
In this introduction to the project, students learn about the
Earthwatch Institute, which works to preserve our cultural heritage
and natural resources. Students will also gain background knowledge
about the Native American cultures that they will explore. Students
must accept each mission before proceeding on to the field sites.
There are three Native American field sites:
Pueblos in Southwestern New Mexico
Students explore 1,000-year-old ruins, believed to be the
ancient settlements of early Native Americans and an important
border area between two different Pueblo cultures. Archaeologist
Karl Laumbach and historian Dennis O'Toole lead the exploration
team. They are there to find answers about early Native American
communities and to preserve the site for future generations.
reports from this site were sent by participating teacher
host Shayne Russell.
Canyon Rock Art in Southeastern Utah
Students visit southeastern Utah and the Four Corners region
(where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona meet).
Archaeologist Sally Coles, an expert in interpreting rock art,
has led dozens of expeditions to document over 300 ancient rock
art sites. Gaining an understanding of art from ancient Native
American cultures may answer questions about what life was like
for ancient Native Americans. Sally Coles sent field
reports from this site to keep students up-to-date on her
History of the Skagit River
Students discover the Skagit River in Washington State where
researchers are trying to save the Skagit watershed and the
wild salmon that live there. Scientist Dr. Ed Liebow is interviewing
local Native Americans who have a history in the area. Through
these interviews, Dr. Liebow hopes to learn about the past in
order to make positive decisions for the future. Various teacher
fellows will send field
reports from this site to keep students up-to-date on what
they have learned.
Field reports from the Rio
Alamosa Prehistoric Pueblo site, the Utah
Canyon Rock Art site, and the oral history of the Skagit
River site are posted here. Written by teachers and scientists, students will have the unique
opportunity to keep track of all the recent discoveries at both
of the explorer sites.
Meet an Explorer
Students can learn more about the scientists and volunteers at these field sites in the "Meet an Explorer" section. Students can meet the team members by reading a biography of Dr. Edward Liebow from the Oral History of the Skagit River, Sally Cole from the Canyon Rock Art project, and Karl Laumbach and teacher Shayne Russell from the Prehistoric Pueblos project. Additionally, students can read transcripts of various, live interviews of these explorers, conducted by Scholastic.com users.
Be an Explorer
Students learn how to conduct their own research just like the
experts in the field. They follow a step-by step process to research
Native American cultures that are a part of our society today.
To begin their exploration, they will use an interactive map to
find tribes in their home or nearby state. They will choose a
tribe to research and write a report on their findings.
Scholastic's Online Activities are designed to support the teaching
of standards-based skills. While participating in the "Scholastic
Explorers Native American Cultures" project, students become
proficient with several of these skills.
In the course of participating in this project, students will:
- Discuss the importance of exploring and preserving ancient artifacts.
- Use graphic organizers to order their questions and discoveries.
- Read online texts from the Field Sites and Field Reports to build
comprehension of the process of exploration and to gain an understanding
of other cultures.
- Demonstrate an understanding of content by participating in
a question and answer discussion of their reading.
- Use a variety of technological and informational resources to conduct
research about their state's past and present Native American cultures.
- Gather, evaluate and synthesize data from a variety of sources.
- Communicate their discoveries in the form of a presentation or an
- Self-evaluate their own research and presentation.
- Perform a historical drama in front of an audience.
- Trace historical developments of a specific culture
- Identify the values, lifestyles, and cultures of varied Native American