At Dixon Middle School, the eighth grade students in Lara Hollis’ class take turns using colored pencils to carefully trace their classmate’s body on a large piece of white paper. While this looks like an art activity, it is actually the beginnings of a lesson on different Native American Cultures.
As part of the Core Standards for Social Studies, eighth graders are to learn about the lives of Native Americans. To help her students understand the cultural background of America, Ms. Hollis has assigned each group in her class with a different Native American culture based on regions such as Northwest and Southwest.
Each group will research their regional culture to learn about the types of homes they lived in, the food they ate, what the environment looked like and other interesting facts.
With this information, the students will need to find a way to represent their findings on the human tracings. In a sense, their drawings will symbolize someone who lived in that region. Once complete, their work will be hung in the halls for all to see and learn from.