The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose

Theme: Nonfiction Read Alouds

Strategy: Activating Prior Knowledge

Recommended Grades: 3-6th grade

The Very First Americans is a great book to showcase the differences between the different Native American tribes of North America.  A great resource to compare tribes; specifically their homes, art, clothing, and tools.

Lesson Idea: Prior to reading aloud this text or parts of it, ask students what they already know about Native Americans in general.  List responses on chart paper.  Then, pass out one sticky note to each student.  Ask students to write a question they still have about the topic on the sticky note.  Download a Sticky Questions graphic organizer.  Create a classroom size copy of the organizer to use when modeling this lesson.  Have students sort the questions based on common themes that arise and label the themes on the graphic organizer.  Think aloud while reading aloud the book to students.  As you locate answers to student questions, note them in the Discoveries column of the organizer.  After using the graphic organizer in whole class and guided reading sessions, provide opportunities for students to use it to activate prior knowledge independently.

Content Connections: The Very First Americans is a great book to connect to social studies units about Native Americans.

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