H.B. Mattlin Middle School Students Study Native American Artifacts

Ms. Sumcizk’s social studies class at H.B. Mattlin Middle School with the contents of the Discovery Lending Chest, courtesy of the Huntington Arts Council. The chest contains Native American cultural artifacts such as household goods, artworks, cultural texts and books, music, clothing and traditional items.

Ms. Sumcizk’s social studies class at H.B. Mattlin Middle School in the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District has been deepening its understanding of Native American culture through the Huntington Arts Center utilizing the Discovery Lending Chest.

The class started the unit on the first Americans prior to having the discovery kit. When the kit arrived, the students were fascinated with the artifacts. They were able to identify some of them right away and then continued to navigate the unit while Ms. Sumcizk referenced the artifacts for each tribe.

One major class activity Ms. Sumcizk did with her students was a group project in which students were assigned a Native American tribe to research. After they did their research, students were provided with a presentation template in which they entered their information and gave visuals to go along with the information. Students then presented what they learned to their classmates.

“This was super fun and a great way to engage my remote students with my in-person students,” said Ms. Sumcizk. “My students loved looking through the books to gather information about their assigned tribe and view the artifacts in person.”

Once presentations were done, the class transitioned to discussions and activities. Ms. Sumcizk took pictures of some of the artifacts and posted them on a jamboard. Students had to name the tribe and the resource the tribe used for that artifact. The overall focus for the unit was how Native Americans interacted with their environment to develop a way of life and culture.

For more information about the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District, please visit the District’s website at www.pobschools.org. Exciting activities happening throughout the District and programs celebrating student achievement can also be found on the District’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pobschools/

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