Introduction: Prior to beginning the lesson: (1) Cut out and laminate Vocabulary Cards for display in the classroom; (2) Photocopy Native American Migration (1 per student).


Group Size: Whole Class


Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

·          Explain how Native Americans came to America from Asia.

·          Identify the reasons why Native Americans migrated to America.


Materials: Vocabulary Cards (see attachment), Native American Migration (see attachment), current map of the United States, current world map



1.       Display a current map of the United States. Ask students: What do you notice about this map? Guide students to answer states, and cities.

2.       Tell students: Now I am going to show you a map from a long time ago. What do you notice that is the same? What do you notice that is different? Give students time to share their answers.

3.       Tell students: The land is the same on both maps. However, this map is from a long time ago, before this land was our country, The United States of America.

4.       Ask students: Does anybody know who lived here before it was the United States of America? Guide students to answer Native Americans. Display vocabulary card “Native Americans”.

5.       Tell students: Long ago, before Columbus came to America, the people we call Native Americans came here from Asia. Have a student point to Asia on a current map of the world. Ask students: How do you think the Native Americans got here from Asia? Give students a chance to discuss possibilities. Then tell students: There used to be a piece of land, like a bridge, that connected North American and Asia. Point to the location on the map. Continue to tell students: The bridge was made of land and ice. The Native Americans walked across the bridge from Asia. The bridge doesn't exist anymore, because it sunk into the water a long time ago.

6.       Ask students: Why do you think the Native Americans left Asia? Give students time to share ideas.

7.       Tell students: The Native Americans probably came here because they were looking for food. When they arrived in America, they found land where no other people were living. They had the land all to themselves to hunt for food.

8.       Tell students: You just learned a lot of new information. Now I want you to answer some questions about what you just learned. Remember to answer each question in a complete sentence. Distribute Native American Migration.


Modifications: For students with special needs, provided one-on-one assistance with writing as necessary.


Assessment: Teacher should circulate classroom to ensure students’ responses reflect an understanding of the lesson.


Benchmark or Standards:

National Council for the Social Studies Standards:

III. People Places and Environments

        a. Construct and use mental maps of locales, regions, and the world that demonstrate

        understanding of relative location, direction, size, and shape.

        b. Interpret, use, and distinguish various representations of the earth, such as maps, globes,

        and photographs.

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