Native American: Regions, Natural, Human, and Capital Resources

This lesson will focus on the five Native American Tribes in North America (Kwakiutl, Inuit, Pueblo, Lakota, and Iroquois). The student will do research to find out the regions that the 5 tribes lived in, and the natural, human, and capital resources that each tribe used that were geographically dependent in order to survive. The Students will be broken down into expert groups to conduct research on the different Native American tribes. Students will then go back to their home groups teach the rest of the group about their particular tribe. Students will then view the primary sources and answer the close reading questions assigned to each of the pictures as a closure/formative assessment.

Historical Background

There are five Native American tribes that are studied in 6th grade according to the Virginia State Standards of Learning (SOL). The Inuit in Northern Canada and Alaska, the Kwakiutl in the Pacific Northwest, the Pueblo in the Southwestern part of what is now the United States, the Lakota in the Great Plains portion of what is now the United States, and the Iroquois in what is now New York, Pennsylvania, and even into parts of Canada. These tribes while located in different parts of North America used their environment differently in order to survive and used their environment according to what was available to them.

The idea of natural, human, and capital resources and how they were used differs greatly by tribe. The student will use these themes to investigate how each tribe used their environment in different ways to survive.

Students will utilize the information gleaned from secondary sources to help guide them while utilizing primary sources in a dynamic group setting and use the processing skills or sourcing, close reading, contextualization, and corroboration.

Lesson Objective

Essential Questions for this lesson include:

  1. In which areas did the First Americans live?
  2. Do they still live in these areas today?
  3. Where do Native Americans (First Americans) live today?
  4. How did geography and climate affect the way American Indian groups met their basic needs?
  5. How did Native Americans use natural, human, and capital resources?



  1. Hook/Preview: The teacher will begin with a review of the class’s previous lesson on the location of the five Native American tribes and the houses that they lived in. Students will be formatively assessed on the knowledge from the previous lesson. The teacher will then let the students become the experts and students will be divided up into 5 groups that correspond with the Native American tribes.
  2. Students will then utilize a variety of secondary sources to gain knowledge on the capital, human, and natural resources that each tribe used along with the regional location of each tribe.
  3. Students will be given 15 minutes to complete the research portion of this. Once the students have completed the research portion, students will utilize their primary source activity sheet and locate the tribe that is pictured on the sheet and answer the corresponding questions that accompany each picture.
  4. The pictures will be blown up along with the image number (1-5) typed on them. Once students have completed the research, students will then teach the rest of the class about their tribe with the students filling in the information that is given to them.
  5. Steps for analyzing the primary source: The students will use the information gleaned in their expert group to first identify which primary source image belongs to their group. They will then identify the location that is depicted in each image, along with whether or not it is a primary source and who the audience is for each picture.
  6. After the initial information is given to the whole class, students will utilize the information to help them identify the remaining 4 images using the same questions as above. The activity will then be gone over as a whole class.


Students will be formatively assessed throughout the entire lesson. Students will demonstrate understanding and mastery of the key concepts by answering the questions associated with the images along with a final closure question concerning the similarities and differences noted along with each image.

References, “Iroquois longhouse sketch,” Last modified 2011, (accessed July 27, 2012).

James Bourhill,, “Inuit Family,”

John C. Grabill,, “Hostile Indian Village of the Lakota Sioux Indians.” Last modified 2008, (accessed July 27, 2012).

Robert W. Amick, American Gallery, “American Gallery-Greatest American Painters- The Pueblo Indian,” (accessed July 27,2012).

Western Washington University, “Kwakiutl Dancers,” (accessed July 27, 2012).

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