Fifth graders in California are supposed to study the geography and climate influences, customs and folklore, and economies and government of the following:
- cliff dwellers and pueblo people of the Southwest
- Pacific Northwest Native Americans
- nomadic nations of the Great Plains
- woodland peoples of the Mississippi River
That's a lot of different tribes. The way the MacMillian textbook describes these nations isn't very easy to comprehend. It's not presented with any sort of connection from one group to the others. Which sort of defeats the purpose, no? Students have already gotten a lot of Native American history through the 4th grade mission unit. So why do more when there is no connection?
They have to be related in some way. I don't actually know how they are related though - that means more research on my part.
The one main point that I did get from the MacMillian text is how it acknowledges that Europeans weren't the first ones to land in the Americas. Although, later on, the text still makes it seem like the Europeans were the most influential in the making of these modern nations, which is debatable really. A whole lot of history happened before they arrived - it's probably mostly lost though. Sad.