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Fire, Earth, & Sky

Explore how native peoples viewed fire, Earth, and sky. Sail to the Pacific Coast of Northwest America to make a triple 3-D display!

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
    Grades 7 and 8
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Students research information about the native people of the American Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Explore different cultures such as the Chipewyan, Copper, Eskimo, Haida, Huron, Ingalik, Innu, Kaska, Ktunaxa, Kutenai, Kwakiutl, Makah, Micmac, Montagnais, Saulteaux, Secwepemc, and Slavey. Ask students what makes each culture unique? Which culture has attributes that resonate, or stand out?
    2. In groups of three, students choose one culture to research. Find out how the people view the world’s elements--fire, Earth, and sky. The Kwakiutl (kwak-ootl), who originally lived in the forests along the coast of what is now called British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Ceremonies and traditions were important features of the Kwakiutl culture.
    3. Students explore the paintings of J.E.H. MacDonald including his Mist Fantasy. Study photographs of the area populated by the people found in the research.
    4. Students create a triple triarama to represent the world as a specific group of native people may have seen it. Combine research and ideas from the visual images to plan three scenes.
    5. To make each scene, measure with a ruler, and then use Crayola® Scissors to cut large white paper into a square. Fold the square diagonally in both directions, from corner to corner, and crease, creating an X in the center. Cut along a fold line from one corner to the center, making two triangle flaps.
    6. Design one triangular flap to look like the ground. Leave the other flap blank. The two upper triangles (the connected ones) are the background. Use Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils to sketch your scene. Use Crayola Markers to color your design. Think ahead about how the folded triangle meets the other side to make sure the ground scene matches the sides. Use Crayola School Glue to secure the blank flap under the ground flap. Air-dry the glue.
    7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 twice more to create two more scenes. Glue the scenes back to back. Air-dry the construction.
    8. Students create several 3-D elements to add to their scenes using Crayola Model Magic. Glue boats, homes, figures, and natural elements to your scenes. Air-dry the scene before exhibiting it. Students present their selected culture to classmates.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Examine the interaction of human beings and their environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Describe a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Encourage students to create a similar triarama for the local the students currently live in. Students compose a written essay comparing and contrasting their home environment to that of the Pacific Northwest. Post this writing on display with the two triaramas.

    Students use their research to write and original, fictional story about living in the Pacific Northwest. Significant scenes from the story can be illustrated to accompany the story. If possible, arrange a time when students can share their original stories with younger students.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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