FIRST AMERICANSThis Webquest is intended for 5th graders studying American History.
Introduction to Beringia• Many scientists and archaeologists believe thousands of years ago, when the seas were locked up in glaciers, a land bridge existed connecting present day Russia and Alaska. This land bridge is referred to as Beringia. Because most rain and snow fell in the Alaskan range before reaching Beringia, the weather was generally mild and plants and animals flourished there. Human beings followed the herds of game like Wholly Mammoth which they hunted for fur and meat. Because huge glaciers blocked their way south, game and human beings existed together on this bridge of land for centuries.
• Because of the ice, some scientists believe this group of people were isolated from their ancestors’ populations in Asia for at least 5,000 years. Then, after the ice melted, they moved south to populate the Americas. Many scientists agree that this occurred sometime after 13,000 years ago as the American glaciers, blocking the way southward, melted.• Is it possible these early explorers traveled in some other way than walking?
The Task• Imagine you’ve gone on summer vacation, with your family, to Alaska. While there you visit the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. Hiking the trails along the Chukchi Sea you discover an artifact .
You’re tempted to keep it, but you decide to take it to the ranger station. The ranger notices your interest in ancient history and offers you a summer job with an archeology crew working on a study of Beringia. You’re fascinated and stay after your family returns home. Your job is to:• Draw 3 of the artifacts found in Beringia and to include the name and description on each one.• Next write a short paper about the theories related to First Americans; so be sure to keep notes as you do your research.• Then you’ll create a mural with your fellow researchers. This mural will show 3-5 animals from 12,000 years ago grazing on the Beringia tundra. The animals will be described on the back of your mural piece.
Click these photos to find out more about Beringia. Use this link for information about the animals of Beringia.
The ProcessBefore you can begin you must learn about methodsarcheologists use in understanding artifacts. Click thelink below. Read and remember the methodsarchaeologists use when determining how an artifactmight have been used. Then move on to the ArtifactChallenge. Read each question and examine the artifact.Ask yourself the questions an archeologist might ask.Be sure to guess what the mystery artifact might be.Support your answer with WHY. Record this informationin your notebook.
Process• Sketch 3 artifacts. Note if they are made of bone (tusk), wood, or skin and describe their use.• Recreate these artifacts in clay. Use white clay for the bone or tusk & brown/yellow for wood.• Label the artifacts with their descriptions.• Keep 2 column notes on the information that will be included in your report. Use the Inductive Vocabulary Sort to make sure you are including the required vocabulary and write an essay describing Beringia and the theories regarding the First American people. Use the Six Traits rubric to score your essay. Remember others will be reading your essay; be sure to add details and write clearly.• Create a piece for the mural. Include descriptions of the animals you’ve researched.
OTHER THEORIES- Ice Free Corridor & Coastal RouteCONNECT TO THE LINK BELOW TO LOOK AT 2 OTHER THEORIES ABOUT THE ARRIVAL OFHUMAN BEINGS IN AMERICA AND CONTINUE YOUR RESEARCH.http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/11/1106_031106_firnews.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/11/1106_031106_fi
Most Native cultures have origin stories. Often these stories involve human beings being placed on Earth by their Creator (or God).Rather than a group moving, or immigrating to an area, they believe they have always existed on that spot. Check the following link for Origin Storieshttp://www.indigenouspeople.net/legend.htm
This website includes some interesting research and maps.http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/firstnations/theories.html
This site includes an interesting article about in Monte Verde, Chili where artifacts are thought to be approximately 12,500 years old.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/inatl/ame
Here is a link to a site that describes points found on the channel islands off of California.http://uonews.uoregon.edu/archive/news-releas
Another TheorySome scientists believe some Americans arrived on theeast coast thousands of years before what was oncebelieved.Here is a link from the History Channel describing anotherway the First American People may have come to thiscountry.http://www.history.com/videos/early-humans-survive-the-ice-age#prehistoric-hThis link also has films about theories related to earlyclimate change and human survival.
Follow this link for directions to create thewhole class mural.
Here is a link to several other activities related to the studyof Beringia. This is also where you will find the silhouettesfor the Beringia class mural. They begin on page 10. I will have copies available in class.
EvaluationClick this link for the assessment rubric-