Lesson Plan: Give Me Shelter G 4

Written By: Emily Schultz
Grade Level: Grade 4

Time Allotment

Four 50 minute class periods. Further exploration of these concepts can go into additional class time.


Incorporating art with social studies, students will explore culture in the world around them by focusing on the region’s Native American-rich history. Inspired by this, students will demonstrate their knowledge by creating a decorated teepee sculpture.

Lesson Plan - /media/other/Give_Me_Shelter_Lesson.doc

Subject Matter

Visual art with connections to Social Studies

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Discuss culture and its presence in their everyday world.
  • Learn about the history of the Native American culture.
  • Create a teepee including imagery and symbolic designs.
  • Media Components - Video/Web

    Video: Native storyteller Mary Louise Defender Wilson tells the story of the woman who turned herself to stone.

    Video: Prairie Artists: Keith Bear - Morning Star Whispered Video: Native American artist Keith Bear provides a musical accompaniment to the story of Turtle and Pretty Crane.

    Video: Indian Pride: Ep. 5: Culture, Traditions, and Celebrations: Part 1

    Video: Indian Pride: Ep. 5: Culture, Traditions, and Celebrations: Part 4

    Video: We are the Music: Native Americans. In this "We are the Music" segment, we learn about the 700-year history of the Native American culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Video: Herd About the Prairie: A Virtual Arts Stampede. Local ND and MN artists designed and painted fiberglass bison for public display, some purely decorative, some deeply philosophical, and some whimsical.

    Multimedia Tools:
  • Avervision Document Camera, Projector, HP computer, Internet access.
  • Optional Native American art prints
  • Optional Native American fictional library books
  • Materials

    1. Brown craft paper, 12x18 (1/student)
      • Teepee template (1/student)
      • Symbolism/image sheet (1/student)
    2. Black sharpie (1/student)
    3. Scissors (1/student)
    4. Markers, crayons, or colored pencils (variety of colors/table of 4 students)
    5. 12” Wooden dowels or bamboo skewers (3/student)
    6. Ruler (1/student)
    7. Masking Tape (1/table of 4 students)

    Teacher Preparation

    1. Preview and set up media components.
      • Computer
      • Avervision (document camera)
      • Lesson on hard drive or flash drive
      • Projector that will allow computer hook-up
      • Screen or wall on which to project images
    2. Prepare materials – Prior to starting unit
      • Gather materials so each student has each the following at each table of 4 (see material list above).

    Introductory Activities

    1. To set tone (lights off), as students walk in and sit, have Keith Bear video playing.

    2. http://www.ndstudies.org/media/prairie_artists_keith_bear_morning_star_whispered
      • After about 1 minute, lower volume but keep video playing. Turn on lights and introduce the lesson by asking what students see, hear and feel as they watch and listen to this man and his music.
    3. Overview of unit: Explain what students are responsible for in this lesson.
      • Students will learn about different cultures around the world.
      • Students will create a teepee including imagery and symbolic designs.
      • Students will learn about the history of the Native American culture.
      • In doing so, Social Studies and Visual Arts will be integrated into this unit of study.
    4. Explore:
      • View the video, “Herd about the Prairie: A Virtual Art Stampede” (Selected Segment--13:25-16:05)

      • http://www.ndstudies.org/media/herd_about_the_prairie_a_virtual_arts_stampede.
      • Students will focus on Native American artist Monte YellowBird and his explanation of his sculpture’s painting and imagery used. During video their task is to use YellowBird’s inspiration and sketch/brainstorm at least three symbols they might like to use in their own art.
      • Refer and discuss Symbolism worksheet students will utilize.
      • View and research Native American art prints (optional).
      • Explore books on Native American imagery (optional).

    Learning Activities

    1. Demonstration to begin our learning activities:
      • Pass out MATERIALS: (4 students per table)
        • Brown paper (1/student)
        • Sharpie (1/student)
        • Scissors (1/student)
        • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils (variety of colors)
        • Symbol worksheet (1/student)
        • Teepee Template (1/student)
      • Demonstrate as students watch:
        • Place template onto brown paper and trace with sharpie. Cut out. Write name on work.
        • Using symbol worksheets for ideas choose, draw and color symbols on teepee to create a story of their choice. No words, just symbols.
        • Students start their own artwork back at tables.
    2. Discussion/Review Topics:
      • What is culture? Discuss similarities and differences between ours and others. Discuss classroom diversity and others’ cultures.
      • Show Video: We are the Music: Native Americans
      • http://prairiepublic.pbslearningmedia.org/content/da00d351-84a6-4fa4-a9f8-6f10a8442c31/
      • (Pause video to check students’ comprehension. Ask questions like: How is this culture different than your culture? Same? See below.)
      • Give Me Shelter – During and after video, discuss the Native American’s early way of life. How did they survive? Brainstorm land, clothing, shelter, food, etc.
    3. Demonstrate teepee assembly while students watch.
      • Place three dowels onto back of art so they are about 4” apart each (use ruler).
      • Make sure the bottoms of dowels are at same height as each other.
      • Make sure the three dowels are protruding out from the tip of teepee.
      • Tape dowels down and pull together two sides upright and tape door together
      • Teepee should be free standing and balanced if measured correctly.
    4. Students are back at tables to finish teepee designs from previous day and possibly start assembly.

  • Symbols/image sheet (1/student)
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils (variety of colors/table of 4 students)
  • Masking Tape (1/table of 4 students)
  • Ruler (1/student)
  • 12” Wooden dowels or bamboo skewers (3/student)

  • Day 3 and 4
    Students work day(s)

    Same as previous days

    1. Turn video on low volume (lights on) and play throughout student work time

    Culminating Activity

    After creating the hands-on artwork assignment, students will:

    Visual Art:
  • Write a short artist statement for their artwork.
  • Brainstorm for ideas on board: Explain how you chose your images. Explain your story design. Write a poem about your artwork. Where would you like to see your artwork displayed after finishing it? Why?
  • Display finished artwork within their school.
  • Share and reflect with peers.
  • Each student can verbalize about their artwork using academic terms (terms to be taught in a given course) (e.g. compostion the arrangement of parts in an artwork to create unity and symmetry the same on both sides)

  • Social Studies:
  • Identify the location/region of cultures studied or represented.
  • Explain how background and history influence people’s actions (e.g., farming methods, hunting methods, economic decisions)
  • Explain the contributions of various ethnic groups (e.g., Native Americans, immigrants) to the history of North Dakota (e.g., food, traditions, languages, and celebrations).
  • Cross-Curricular Activity

  • Visual Art – create a teepee sculpture
  • Social Studies – characteristics of significant features of different cultures.
  • Language Arts – Write to understand and improve comprehension.
  • Community Connections

  • Plains Art Museum:
  • http://plainsart.org’exhibits/
  • The Rourke Art Museum:
  • http://www.therourke.org/
  • Visit with ELL teachers in your school.
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • Visit/Invite Native American Coordinator for Fargo Public Schools
  • ND & MN Brown Bag Seminars (NDSU, MSUM, Concordia, etc.)

    Student reference worksheets are included below.