Lesson details


Social Studies




The First People

Recommended Technology: 

Personal iPads required for each student

Virtual Native American Museum Exhibits

2-3 hours
Lesson type: 
Project Based Lesson
Lesson overview: 

Native American tribes were the first people that lived in the area of South Carolina. These tribes were all a part of the group of Native Americans known as the Eastern Woodlands and were among the first Native Americans to encounter the European colonists.  There were 3 specific groups that lived in the area of the Carolina colony when the colonists arrived – the Cherokee, the Catawba, and the Yemasee. Each had distinct culture, daily life, and political systems that were influenced by where they lived and the language they spoke.  

The National Museum of the American Indian is one of the museums of the Smithsonian Institution.  They currently have museums in Washington, DC, and New York City.  They are currently considering featuring exhibits that focus on the Native Americans in each of the 50 states.  They have asked you and your team to design a virtual exhibit that focuses on one of the Eastern Woodlands tribes from South Carolina as a model of what a real exhibit might look like.  As you prepare your exhibit, be sure to consider the following questions in order to help you answer the essential question:

  • What are the most important facts for Americans to know about the tribes that lived in South Carolina?
  • How did the geography of the area impact the way these tribes lived?

You will create a virtual museum exhibit to share with the Smithsonian.  Your virtual exhibit will include artifacts and information that will teach visitors about the tribe you choose.  

Essential Question: 

What artifacts will help visitors to the museum understand how the earliest of South Carolinians lived?

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Lesson created by:
Kim Buice and Christine Horowitz
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