How the Lenni Lenape Indians of New Jersey Utilized their Environment
Topic: This introductory social studies lesson encourages the students to explore the life of the Lenni-Lenape Indians through group discussion and hands on interaction. Students will pretend to live the life of a Lenape Indian and immerse themselves within the rich ecosystem of New Jersey. Through hands on exploration, the students will gain an understanding of how the Lenape utilized their environment to sustain life. Students will work in cooperative groups to develop tools associated with gathering food in the wilderness.
Rationale: When learning about Native Americans and their ability to utilize their environment, it is important that students understand the whole context. Students should develop an understanding that Native Americans not only lived off the land for food and shelter, but made tools and other every day items from natural resources.
In an effort to gear the students mindset towards an era when the Lenni Lenape Indians were present within New Jersey, the teacher will engage the students in a word association game. It is important that the students think about the primitiveness of living in a time period where there was no electricity, now technology, and no grocery stores.
It is important for students to understand that geography and natural resources provided by the environment, influences the cultural integrity of tribes. The Lenape Indians were deemed extremely resourceful and regarded as excellent hunters, fisherman, and farmers. Due to their geographical location, they were able to live off the land in the manner in which they did.
Students learn more from actively participating, rather than passively listening. This lesson enables all students to construct their own knowledge and make memorable association of how the Lenape lived off the land.
Prior Knowledge: The students should have some knowledge about the terrain of New Jersey during the time in which only Native Americans inhabitant the land. Students should know that technology, electricity, and modern conveniences were not available during this time period as well. While students have studied Native Americans in prior elementary grade levels, it is uncertain as to how much the students truly remember.
New Jersey Core Curriculum Standard:
STANDARD 6.6 (Geography) All students will apply knowledge of spatial relationships and other geographic skills to understand human behavior in relation to the physical and cultural environment.
Learner will be able to understand how the Lenni-Lenape Indians of New Jersey utilized their environment for survival
Assessed on thoughtfulness and connections made during discussions and groups activity. Teacher will make anecdotal notes.
Anticipatory set: The students will be told that today they are going to embark on an adventure back in time to when there were no cars, supermarkets, and paved road. An era in time when electricity was not invented and technology was not even considered. We will be taking a journey to a time when nature provided use with everything we needed! Once the students have determined that the lesson will pertain to Native Americans, the teacher will ask the students to pretend that they are living in this archaic era. The students will be told that they will be living the lives of a special group of Native Americans that lived in their very own state of New Jersey.
Today we are not students; today we are a tribe of Lenni Lenape Indians of New Jersey. As Native Americans it is important to develop an understanding of our environment. Our environment is extremely important because it provided us with food, shelter, and clothing. [10 minutes]
Grouping and Transition:
For this activity the students will be working in small groups with the opportunity to engage in a greater class discussion. Due to the volume of students within this classroom, the groups will consist of three to four students. Students will be grouped according to location in the classroom.
The teacher will outline the expectations for the activity and provide concise directions before the students begin. The students will be given an allotted amount of time to complete the activity and given a two-minute warning before moving forward. Once time has commenced, a timer will go off and the students will be instructed to gather their materials and return to their seats. Before moving onto the next step of the activity the teacher will address any questions and then fully explain the remainder of the lesson.
After the first activity:
Other ways the Lenape use their environment:
Closure: After working in their small groups, the students will present their tools and correlating information to the class. With limited time, the teacher will clarify each topic and allow the students to ask questions. Then the teacher will ask the students to think more about how the Lenape used their environment. As the students are discussing the issues, they are encouraged to fill in the information on their graphic organizer.
Classroom Management: Prior to beginning the lesson the teacher will take several minutes speaking with the students and outlining the rules they are expected to follow. The teacher will explain that the most important rule is called, “Give me Five”. The teacher will explain what it is and how it will be used in the classroom. The teacher will practice the rule once before moving on. Once the rules are outlined and modeled, the teacher will explain the importance of cooperation as a larger group of students and when working in smaller groups.
The teacher will have all the materials needed for each group organized before the start of the lesson. All of the materials will be labeled and separated into eight different groups. Extra materials will remain on the front table of the classroom in case students make mistakes. The placement of these items will be announced before the students begin their activity.
Prior to beginning the activity, the teacher will explain the directions to the larger classroom of students. Before the students break into groups the teacher will ask the students if they have any questions regarding the activity. The teacher will explain that there will be 10 minutes given and a two-minute warning before the end of time. Time will be kept on a kitchen timer that will sit in the front of the classroom. As the students are working both individually and in larger groups the teacher will circulate the room.
Individualization: This lesson enables a variety of
students to acquire information about the Lenape Indians.
Through extensive visual aids and hands on activities, the students are
able to create stronger images of how the Lenape utilized their environment.
The variety of activities and constant movement enables students to
engage their minds in different ways. Directions to activities will be given
verbally and will also be displayed on the board.
When working in smaller groups, the students will have directions printed
in simplistic terms before them.
Working with other peers enables students to learn from a variety of sources.
Extension to the lesson: After the students have gained introductory knowledge as to how the Native Americans utilized the land for food purposes, the students will read a short story about the Lenape.