Why People Move
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
- Unit Plan:
Students learn the variety of reasons why groups of people migrate. They also learn specifically about what caused the Pueblo Indians of the American Southwest to migrate.
- Understand the variety of factors that cause people to migrate, immigrate and/or emigrate to new areas to live and work
- Gain a better understanding of the Pueblo Indians of the American Southwest by examining various materials and information
- Native American Cultures Activities
- map worksheets to complete this lesson
- books, pictures and items relating to New Mexico culture
- colored pencils/markers for map labeling
Opening Activity: (10-15 minutes)
For a warm-up the students will take out their notebooks and complete a free writing assignment in response to the following question which I will write on the board:
"Why would you decide to move your family across the country to California? Or across the Pacific Ocean to Australia? What would cause you to make such a significant change for you and your family? How would you feel about this? Why?"
The goal of this warm-up is to get the students to begin thinking about how difficult it is move and to apply this idea to their own lives and how it would affect them.
Lesson Core: (30-40 minutes)
I will begin the lesson with a brainstorming activity led by the students. I will ask them to list all of the factors, causes and issues that cause people to pack up and move themselves and their families. I will make a list of these items on the board and have the students write them down. After doing this I will take a few minutes to give them some notes and factual information concerning the reasons why people move (extrinsic factors such as environment, war, famine, drought, etc. and intrinsic factors such as seeking a better life, wealth, opportunities or a family). I will then pass out a map activity that will have the students label the major Pueblo Indian settlements of the southwest. They will also label the geographic features such as rivers, lakes, mountains, latitude & longitude, deserts, etc. We will then give dates for each of the major pueblo civilizations and list when they were inhabited and deserted, if that applies. I will then ask the students to look at the map, the dates, the settlements and the land features and ask them to try to come up with some ideas and theories of their own as to why the Pueblo Indians moved around and what caused this to happen. I will offer my own insights, experiences and knowledge learned in the field. I will also show them some pictures and share other information and items I gained on my Earthwatch Expedition.
Concluding Activity: (10 minutes)
In order to reinforce what was learned in class today, and also to remind them of previously learned material and how to apply today's lesson to that information the students will do the following. Think of all the cultures and peoples we have learned about in the past that have experienced a mass migration event (Bantu's of Africa, European immigration to America, refugees escaping war torn Africa, Asia & Europe, etc.) Come up with at least 3 examples of other peoples & cultures that have migrated from their homelands to a new land. Why did they move? What factors caused them to move? Was their move successful? Why or why not? The students will further develop these ideas and concepts and I will include a short essay question covering this topic on the unit test.
Supporting All Learners
This project aids students in meeting national standards in several curriculum areas.
Reading Language Arts
International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
- Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
- Students use spoken, written, and visual language for learning, persuasion, and exchange of information.
- Students conduct research by gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing data from a variety of sources, and then communicate their discoveries to different audiences for a variety of purposes.
- Students use a variety of technological and informational resources (i.e. libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and communicate knowledge.
- Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
- Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems.
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
- Culture (Students study culture and cultural diversity.)
- Individuals, Groups, and Institutions (Students study interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions.)
- Time, Continuity, and Change (Students study how the world has changed in order to gain perspective on the present and the future.)
- Production, Distribution, and Consumption (Students study how people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.)
Technology Foundation Standards for Students:
- use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity
- use technology tools to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences
- use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences
- use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources
- use technology tools to process data and report results.
After students present their information, ask them to write a self-evaluation. Students should ask themselves questions such as:
- Did my research answer my original question?
- Were my facts organized?
- Was my presentation in the best format?
- Did I present my information in a clear and cogent manner?
- What did I like best about my presentation?
- What could I have done better?
Meet with students to discuss their self-evaluations.