The Earliest Americans Crossing The Land Bridge 3rd Grade Social Studies Presented by Joan Stewart Core Knowledge Facilitator P. S. 123M The Big Idea For thousands of years before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, America was populated by a variety of Native people… What Students Should Already Know One or more groups of Native American peoples. The earliest people were Native Americans and nomads. The “land bridge” from Asia to North America. The development of cities and towns. Sequoyah, The Trail of Tears. What Students Need to Know During the Ice Age, scientists believe that Nomadic hunters migrated from Asia to North America, possibly by crossing a land bridge across what is now the Bering Strait. What Students Need To Know Different people with different languages and ways of life spread throughout North and South America. Inuit Iroquois Anasazi Hopi Mound Zuni builders Pueblos Navajo Cherokee Student Vocabulary Adobe Cliff-dwellings Longhouse Caribou Land bridge kayak Nomad Prehistoric migration Pueblos Alaska Arctic Ocean Bering Sea Asia North America Bering Strait Wooly mammoth Hunter-gatherer Cross-Curricular Connections Language Arts Fiction Myths Legends Informational books Visual Arts American Indian Art Science Geography Classification of animals Map-making Reptiles Latitude and longitude Mammals Continents Birds Human interaction Important Ideas The first people of North America are believed to have crossed from Asia into North American, either by a land bridge or by water between 30, 000 and 15,000 years ago. As the first peoples spread throughout North and South America their customs, traditions and languages changed as they adapted to new environments and new ways of food production. Crossing the Land Bridge Scholars generally agree that the native people of North and South America migrated to North America across the land bridge called Beringia from Asia anywhere from 50,000 to 1.500 years ago. Bering Strait The Ice Age Earth was in the middle of the last Ice age. Much of Earth’s water was frozen in the form of ice and snow. During the Ice Age, Asia and North America were connected by ice and snow. Scientists believe that the first Americans crossed a land bridge that joined the eastern tip of Asia with what is now Alaska, in North America. The Earliest Americans The first people to cross into North America from Asia hunted prehistoric animals like the wooly mammoth. It is thought that the earliest Americans followed the herds of animals across the land bridge Heading South As the Ice Age warmed, the earliest Americans followed the prehistoric animals south into Canada, North America. Mexico, Central America and South America. From Hunting to Farming As the ice disappeared so did the prehistoric animals that the hunters relied on for their food, clothing and shelter. The animals may have died off because it began to get warmer or because the hunters killed off too many animals. From Hunting to Farming Hunters began to hunt smaller animals like deer and rabbits for their food. The earliest Americans also began to pick wild plants, seeds, berries and dig up roots to eat. From Hunting to Farming Some people began to understand that if they planted the seeds of the plants they found they would be able to get more food and they would not have to travel everyday looking for food. Planting seeds and harvesting the crops was the beginning of farming. Farming meant that people needed to stay in one place to take care of their crops. From Hunting to Farming Once people began to stay in one place, some type of laws were required to organize groups of people living together. This was the beginning of government. Someone needed to decide what was to be done and who needed to do it. From Hunting to Farming The development of Native American culture in the United States was different for each group. While the Anasazi in the Southwest United States and the Eastern Woodland Indians in the Northeast United States both hunted and farmed, many North American native people remained hunters. Language As most Native Americans settled in one place and adapted to their environment, they began to develop different languages. People who became farmers would need a larger vocabulary to explain their crops, tools and growing process. The hunters would need to have words to name the animals they killed and the uses they made of them, such as food, clothing and shelter. The Inuit (Eskimos) The northernmost people in North America were the Inuit. They are also called Eskimos. They live in Alaska and in the Arctic region of Canada. They also live in Greenland and Siberia. The Inuit (Eskimos) Scientists believe that the Inuit did not cross the land bridge over the Bering Strait from Asia to North America until about 4,000 years ago. It is believed that the Inuit probably came by boat or walked across the frozen Bering Strait. They live the farthest north of all Native Americans. The Inuit (Eskimos) The Inuit live very much the way their ancestors lived thousands of years ago. For food, clothing, weapons, tools and fuel they depend on the fish they catch and the caribous, seals, whales and walruses they hunt. The Inuit (Eskimos) In the winter the Inuit live in houses made of sod, wood and stone. In the summer they use tents made of animal skins. Igloos, houses made of blocks of snow are only used when the Inuit go on hunts and then only rarely. The Inuit (Eskimos) Kayaks and dog sleds are their means of transportation. Inuit life revolves around the sea and animals. Ongoing Assessment Have students create a dramatization showing how humans may have crossed the land bridge. Review writing paragraphs by having students write about the Inuit, researching the Inuit in more depth, highlighting what they have learned about the Inuit, review the structure of a paragraph including topic sentence, at least three supporting details and a concluding sentence. Ongoing Assessment As a way to organize the study of Native American groups, have students make writing webs. Instruct them to put the name of a Native American group in the center of the web and then extend supporting details about the group around the web. Use these graphic organizers to help students make short presentations. Ongoing Assessment Give students an opportunity to learn about Native American groups in their area. Museum trips or speakers are some ways for students to learn about the local culture of Native Americans. Have students compare and contrast the local Native American culture with other Native American cultures. Ongoing Assessment Organize a classroom library and have students read about the various Native American groups. Have the students plan and act out a skit to inform the class of some aspect of Native American life. Have students submit the skit to the teacher to check accuracy. At the end of the presentation ask each student to tell one new fact that he or she learned. Review Where did the first people of North America come from and how might they have gotten here? What kind of big animals did the earliest Americans hunt? What happened when the prehistoric animals disappeared? Why did the ancestors of Native Americans spread throughout North and South America?