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From the Land, Of the Land:
An Interdisciplinary Lesson on Indigenous People


  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts
  • Social Studies
    --Current Events
    ----World History


  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Students research the concept of indigenous people then write a diamante poem about what they’ve learned. Both the research and the poem creation are done online.


Students (on own or in whole group work) will:

  • Read and identify basic facts on indigenous people.
  • Create a diamond/diamante poem using those facts.


diamante poem, diamond poem, indigenous people

Materials Needed

  • Student access to a computer with Internet and printer access.
  • Ability to display teacher's computer screen for the class.

Lesson Plan

Energize your next geography or language arts lesson with this online activity for grades 7-12.

This lesson can be completed in a computer lab or with one or more classroom computers. Before beginning the lesson, students should be familiar with basic navigation on the Web and be able to identify essential facts from Web Sites.

Begin the lesson by asking "What is an 'indigenous people'?" Chances are that few (or no) students will be familiar with this term. Explain that although many different cultural groups might live in a particular country -- such as African American, European American, Asian American in the United States -- most are not "indigenous" or originally from the region. Indigenous peoples belong to a group that is native to the country and did not migrate from another country. With that definition in mind, ask students to identify the indigenous people in the United States. Students should answer "Native Americans."

Next, ask students to consider what happens when two cultures come together -- such as occurred when European explorers, and later colonists, came to North America. Explain that indigenous people often are in political, socio-economic, and cultural jeopardy when other cultural groups gain control of their land.

Tell students that they are going to learn more about indigenous people by researching the United Nations' CyberSchoolBus Web site. Then, they are going to write a poem containing key words describing the nature and plight of indigenous people. Lead students through the following steps:

  • Bring a piece of paper and pen/pencil to the computer. (Most students do best taking notes on paper while online, but if some prefer to move back and forth between the Internet and a word processing program, that's fine.)
  • Go to Indigenous Peoples.
  • Spend 20-30 minutes reading each of the five sections at the site: Identify, Locate, Explore, Appreciate, and Advocate. Write down (or type) any basic facts you find on indigenous people. Especially look for adjectives or descriptive phrases that help you understand how it would feel to be part of an indigenous group. (Note that students who are from indigenous groups might approach this lesson a bit differently -- with an autographical approach.
  • Be sure you have at least 10-12 ideas on your paper. It need not be neat. Look one more time at each section of the site before moving on.
  • Looking at your paper (or Word document), consider how it would feel to be a member of a given indigenous group. (Students can imagine themselves in one of the groups highlighted on the UN's site or as an indigenous person in their own community.) What challenges to your culture or to learning the dominant culture would you face? What makes your proud of your heritage?
  • Go to ReadWriteThink's Diamante Poem Tool and complete each step of the diamante poem process. You might want to use "Indigenous People" as the title or as the actual name of a group.
  • Before printing the poem, show it to your teacher. (As always, make sure each student has treated the topic respectfully and appropriately.)
  • With permission, print your poem. IMPORTANT: The ReadWriteThink site does not save your work. If you do not finish before class ends, print what you have and keep that copy with you to use to type your poem from scratch during the next class period.

After each student finishes, display the poems or have each student read his or her poem aloud. You might want students to do an Internet search for images to accompany their poems.


Students will be assessed on their:

  • printed diamond poem (What essential facts about indigenous people does it contain? And Does it follow the conventions of a diamond poem?)
  • completion of the assignment in a timely fashion.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lorrie Jackson

National Standards

NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
NL-ENG.K-12.7 Evaluating Data
NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.10 Applying Non-English Perspectives
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

NSS-G.K-12.2 Places and Regions
NSS-G.K-12.4 Human Systems

GRADES 5 - 12
NSS-WH.5-12.1 The Beginnings of Human Society
NSS-WH.5-12.2 Early Civilizations and the Rise of Pastoral Peoples
NSS-WH.5-12.3 Classical Traditions, Major Religions, and Giant Empires
NSS-WH.5-12.4 Expanding Zones of Exchange and Encounter
NSS-WH.5-12.5 Intensified Hemispheric Interactions, 1000-1500 CE
NSS-WH.5-12.6 Global Expansion and Encounter, 1450-1770
NSS-WH.5-12.7 An Age of Revolutions, 1750-1914
NSS-WH.5-12.8 The 20th Century