Seeking partners for elementary level Native American collaboration

Local Native American history is a fairly common unit in grades 2-4. Some fellow teachers in different states (CT., IL., and southern CA.) thought it would be exciting for our students to share their learning with other classes around the country. One of the primary objectives would be to compare how the natural resources and climate of an area influenced local Native American lifestyle (food, clothing, and housing, etc.).

The collaboration will be done through a wiki and we are hoping to do it during late Nov/Dec.

If you cover Native Americans and are interested in participating or if you have any questions, please leave a comment. Thanks!

Tags: collaboration, elementary, socialstudies

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I love the idea and am excited about participating with my third grade class from California.

I have only done a classroom blog, so I am familiar with that. I've never had a class wiki, but that would allow for each region to have their own page/pages. I would love it if the "front page" had a map and when you clicked on the region it would take you to the pages with that information. Not sure how to do that though...

This is exciting!
Thanks for organizing it!

Linda Yollis
It seems like a wiki is the way to go. I'm a little more familiar with PBworks, so I'll start to set one up using that platform. (Let's just make sure it's not blocked in any of our districts - I don't think it will be).

Linda, I should be able to have an interactive map on the "front page" with links to the pages about our regions. Great Idea! I was just messing around with Google Maps and it looks like I can work it out by placing a hyperlink in the placemarks. Very cool!

Any suggestions for a title to the wiki?
Well, I set up a wiki through PBworks. It is very rough, but it's a start. you can check it out here. The map is through Google My Maps. It does the trick, but I'll keep messing around to see if I can remove the "get directions" thing when you click on a place mark. But the place marks do link to the pages, and we can add a photo to each mark as well.

Eventually we'll want to formalize the project requirements (local environment, housing, food, seasonal lifestyle, clothing, ceremonies, etc.) so the pages are somewhat similar (but not cookie-cutter uniform - I think any way of meeting the basic requirements is fine.)

To access and edit the wiki (please do!) just "request access" on the sidebar. The pages can be renamed based on tribe names, regions, etc.
I think we are off to a great start!
Thanks again for the great idea and the wiki set-up. I'm excited about the project!

I see I have a Chumash folder. Is that where I would have pages for text, photos, or video? Would they each be pages within the folder with names like:

Chumash Environment: Central/Southern California Coast
Chumash Shelter: Ap
Chumash Food: Hunting/Gathering/Fishing
Chumash Clothing
Chumash Roles: Men/Women/Children
Chumash Ceremonies

I know you said that the pages don't have to be cookie-cutter and I feel the same way. I would probably go with something like I did above...just so it is super clear for me as I organize and upload my students' work.

Is there anything I can do to help? :-)

Hi Linda,
Yes, under the Chumash folder (which you can rename if you like) you can add whatever pages you would like. After you "create a page" you can then choose what folder to put it in. Your list of topics above seems perfect, I'll probably follow a similar format. I can make the place marks on the map link to the "environment" page for each tribe/region, as that is probably a good introductory page for each tribe.

One thing you could do to help is to edit the "project" page to include a rough outline of the topics you listed. That way other teachers can get an idea of the potential focus for their own pages. Does that make sense? The "project" page is where we can share ideas for our overall objectives, while allowing everyone to adapt the project to their specific needs.
Hi Jonah,
I just went in and added a few Chumash pages to the Chumash folder (One is in the wrong folder, but I couldn't figure out how to delete it...)

I also did a little bit on the project page.

Am I wiking correctly? :-) (I didn't want to do any more in case I was adding things in the wrong places. I set up a wiki last year, but never used it.)

I'm new to wikis also, but it seems like you've got it down. Here is a good resource for working with PBwikis, especially the menu on the side.
I changed your status from the default "writer" to "editor" so you should be able to rename and delete pages now (I deleted the other one already). Thanks for working on the project page, I think that will help others.
Thanks again! I'm gearing up for the first day tomorrow!
Thanks for the PBwiki link...I'll check it out.

Good luck tomorrow!

After experimenting with both PBworks and wikispaces, I find wikispaces easier to navigate and edit for both teachers and students. So, I have changed the wiki for the project. You can access it here.
Linda, I would love to have your information to add to my website. if building an online history of art course and you will see North America under Early Villages. As I move along in the time line I will want to put Chumash information in the correct time line.
My email is
So far there are 5 schools involved from the U.S. and Canada. I set up a wiki thorough PBworks. You can visit it here: Native Culture Wiki
The map is through Google My Maps, and the place marks should link to pages.

If you are interested in participating, it doesn't have to be during Nov/Dec, but whenever it works into your curriculum.
I will ask my colleagues in 4th grade if they would be interested. They do an in-depth study of Indiana's Native American history. I teach 5th grade and we cover most of the North American tribes. We have 2 classes of 5th grade with about 45-50 students. Our unit on Native Americans is all project based so I think collaborating through a wiki would be fantastic. We are located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.



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