Native American people is a unit of study for my 5th graders. The topic of the Indians of the Pacific Northwest Coast is quite interesting for my students. We discussed location, climate, natural resources, transportation, and crafts.
The construction of a cedar dugout canoe was one topic discussed. This is the inspiration for the student work.
For the children to get a hands on feel for the dugout, we made folded paper dugouts. To bring in the concept of Symmetry, we discussed that both sides of the dugout canoe were the same. While the paper was flat and uncut, the students needed to plan their design and colors to be used. The back side of the paper was also colored brown to indicate the inside of the canoe was wood. finally, the dugout canoe was cut from the paper, folded on the dotted lines, and glued together on the paper tabs found on the pattern. As you can see they were very cool.
My students drew illustrations of their concept of a village belonging to the Chinook tribe. Each child could refer back to their book, powerpoint presentation, as well as the illustrations in the room for reference. I tell my students, "A picture is worth a thousand words". For some children, they need a picture in their head to tell a story or remember information. ( I was one of those kids, and am still like that today.) This is why I have my 5th graders do so many hands on related projects.
Have a great day!