Native Americans: Discover the History and Cultures of the First Americans with 15 Projects

Overview


Explore how the first Americans, faced with varying climates in a vast land hundreds and thousands of years ago, developed everything we take for granted today: food supplies, shelter, clothing, religion, games, jewelry, transportation, communication, and more.

Native Americans: Discover the History and Cultures of the First Americans uses hands-on activities to illuminate how the Native Americans survived and thrived by creating tools, culture, and a society based on their ...

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Overview


Explore how the first Americans, faced with varying climates in a vast land hundreds and thousands of years ago, developed everything we take for granted today: food supplies, shelter, clothing, religion, games, jewelry, transportation, communication, and more.

Native Americans: Discover the History and Cultures of the First Americans uses hands-on activities to illuminate how the Native Americans survived and thrived by creating tools, culture, and a society based on their immediate environment. Entertaining illustrations and fascinating sidebars bring the topic to life, while Words to Know highlighted and defined within the text reinforce new vocabulary. Projects include building an archaic toolkit, creating Algonquin art, experimenting with irrigation systems, inventing hieroglyphics, making a “quinzy,” and playing the Inuit game of nugluktaq. In addition to a glossary and an index, an extensive appendix of sites and museums all over the country offers ideas where families can learn more about the various Native American cultures.

Kids ages 9–12 will gain an appreciation for the diversity of people and culture native to America, and learn to problem solve in a way that respects the environment. Native Americans meets common core state standards in language arts for reading informational text and literary nonfiction. Guided Reading Levels and Lexile measurements indicate grade level and text complexity.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jill Walton
A combination of political correctness and old fashioned projects envelop this history of the first Americans. This history is one of the “Build It Yourself” series and is focused on Native American topics that pique the interests of children between the ages of nine to twelve. It aligns with the common core standards and does a solid job of connecting the different subjects. The sidebars contribute much to the broad base of the subjects covered and make the history come alive. Sidebars also connect the differences between then and now with facts; an example would be the near extinction of the buffalo population. Rich vocabulary words stand out and are often visually represented with drawings to illustrate the definitions. Some of the comments comparing cultures then to current cultures or ancient religions to current religions are clumsy. The subjective analysis of the people and individuals living in those times is often speculative. The broad brush applied to this comprehensive history is disconcerting. Wonderful information, appealing format, and excellent illustrations make this a book young readers will enjoy reading; but some adults will be uncomfortable. Reviewer: Jill Walton; Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Inaccurate illustrations and oversimplified text make this a poor choice for either assignments or leisure reading. Attempting to cover all Native American history from the first inhabitants onward results in unfortunate generalizations, and in many places the author characterizes all Native Americans as a group rather than providing information about specific people or nations. While the tone is sympathetic, Kavin occasionally uses dated stereotypes. Similarly, the interior images include black-and-white cartoons that border on caricature, as in the illustration of long-haired, feather-headdress-wearing, mostly shirtless men sitting outside teepees. Clothing and hairstyles in the sketchy drawings appear to conflate dissimilar cultures and time periods, and most lack explanatory captions. The 15 projects range from silly (watching ice cream melt in order to understand the ice age) to highly unlikely, at least for most urban children (making a life-size travois with poles twice as long as a child is tall). Yvonne Wakim Dennis's A Kid's Guide to Native American History (Chicago Review Press, 2009) covers similar ground in a more thoughtful manner.—Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library
From the Publisher

Marla Conn, Educational Consultant
"Native Americans covers the culture, history, and traditions of many Native American tribes through different content areas, including language arts, math, science, social studies, and the arts. The book is aligned to common core state standards and does a good job relating past events with the present using vocabulary that is appropriate for the subject area and grade level.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781619301702
  • Publisher: Nomad Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2013
  • Series: Build It Yourself Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 811,150
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Kim Kavin is the author of Tools of Native Americans: A Kid's Guide to the History & Culture of the First Americans. She lives in Long Valley, New Jersey.

Beth Hetland was born and raised in the rolling hills of Wisconsin. She graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009 with a BFA and from the Center for Cartoon Studies in 2011 with a MFA in Comics. Beth is currently a member of the Faculty at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago teaching comics.

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