<Standard 4.14...................................................................................................................................Standard 4.16>

Describe the diverse nature of the American people by identifying the distinctive contributions to American culture.

A. at least three indigenous peoples in different areas of the country (e.g., Navajo, Seminoles, Sioux, Hawaiians, and Inuits).

Sign Entering Navajo Indian Reservation
Sign Entering Navajo Indian Reservation

  • Navajo
    • Native Americans who reside mainly in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah
    • Migrated from Canada to the Southwest
    • Believe the first people emerged from underground
    • Navajo language is a tone language, very complicated
    • Famous for acting as Code Talkers during WWII
    • Click here to read more background on the Navajo Peoples
    • Go to Navajo Nation for more on the nation's largest reservation of native peoples
    • Click here or here for more information on the Code Talkers
lessonplan.jpgClick here or here for lesson plans on the Navajo people,
  • Semioles
    • Native American tribe located in Florida
      Chief Osceola who led the Seminoles during the 2nd War
    • The Seminoles supported the British during the War of 1812
    • Following the war, the US Army invaded Florida, a Spanish territory
    • The Seminoles and the US fought in the First Seminole War
    • Andrew Jackson lead an army in Florida and caused many Seminole deaths
    • Lead to the Adams-Onis Treaty and Florida becoming part of the US
    • The Second Seminole War resulted from conflict between the settlers and the Seminoles
    • President Andrew Jackson created the Indian Removal Act
    • Attempted to force the Seminoles west of the Mississippi River
    • Seminoles refused to move, resulting in war
    • The Seminoles lost, and many were forced to move west
    • For more on the history of the Seminoles, click here
    • For more on the Seminole Wars, click here
  • Sioux
    • Immigrated from Asia to Northern United States around 30,000 years ago
    • Name means "Little Snake"
    • Nomads, usually followed the buffalo, which was their way of life
      Sioux Warriors
    • Spanish gave them horses in the 1500s
    • Sioux and US had an agreement for safe travels on the Oregon Trail in exchange for recognition of the tribes
    • A misunderstanding with a cow lead to a battle with the Sioux killing all 30 Americans who went to the village
    • In retaliation, American troops destroyed a Sioux village, killing over 100 men, women, and children
    • As a result, the Sioux moved away from the settlers and there was a short peace
    • Another battle resulted when Americans started invading the Black Hills for gold
    • Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse defended their land
    • This war resulted in the US annexing the Black Hills from the Sioux
    • For more on the Sioux and their wars, click here
  • Hawaiians
    • Native Hawaiians descended from Polynesia
      ancient hawaiian.jpg
      Ancient Hawaiian Statues in Honolulu
    • Captain James Cook claimed the islands for England in 1778
    • The different islands of Hawaii were united by Kamehameha in 181
    • Missionaries and other groups moving to Hawaii had a negative effect on the natives
    • Many became diseased and died
    • Settlers were taking over the island and Hawaiians were becoming second class citizens
    • Queen Lili'uokalani attempted to help her people, but was arrested
    • Hawaii was annexed by the US in 1898
    • Click here or here for histories of Hawaii
    • Click here for the PBS program on Queen Lili'uokalani
  • Inuits
    • Aboriginals in North American Arctic
    • Formally referred to as Eskimos
    • Name means "people"
      inuit family.jpg
      Inuit Family
    • Bering Strait to East Greenland (over 6000 km)
    • Hunted seals, walrus, caribou, and whales
    • Lived in huts of sod and driftwood
    • Lived in small villages
    • Thousands died after contact with European and American whalers
    • Canada encouraged permanent settlements
    • Inuits became dependent on social welfare
    • Working towards establishing their own towns and governments
    • Read more on the Inuits here
lessonplan.jpgClick here for lesson plans on the Inuits

B. African Americans, including an explanation of their early concentration in the South because of slavery and the Great Migration to northern cities in the 20th century, and recent African immigrant groups (e.g., Ethiopian) and where they tended to settle in large numbers.

lessonplan.jpgClick here for a packet on African Americans in America
Slavery in the South
  • The first slaves were brought to Jamestown, Va in 1619 to help with the tobacco crops
  • The southern states began growing tobacco, rice, cotton, and other crops
  • While indentured servants were used, slaves were cheaper and easier to buy
  • European ships would sail to Africa, take or buy people, sail to the Americas and sell the people as slaves. They would then take goods from the Americas back to Europe.
    • Read about the horrible "Middle Passage" that the slaves endured on their voyage here or here
    • Read about the life of a Southern slave here or here
  • While slaves were found in the North, most were used in the South because they were needed on the plantations
  • When slavery ended, African Americans suffered through Jim Crow and struggled to make ends meet with sharecropping
    great migration.jpg
    Painting by Jacob Lawrence, African American artist. Famous for his series on the Great Migration.
  • Many African Americans stayed in the South with no means to travel or relocate
  • For more history on Slavery in America, click here
lessonplan.jpgClick here for a lesson plan on slavery

The Great Migration
  • Took place from 1916 to 1970
  • In the South, African Americans were facing discrimination and struggling economically
  • When WWI broke out, Northern industrial cities were short workers
  • Southern newspapers for African Americans advertised opportunities available in the North
  • Male African Americans moved North and found work in factories and slaughterhouses
  • Women African Americans had less opportunity, and mainly found work in domestic labor
  • From 1910 to 1920, African American populations drastically increased in cities:
    • New York: 66% increase
    • Chicago: 148% increase
    • Philadelphia: 500% increase
    • Detroit: 611% increase
  • Over 6 million African Americans moved North during the Great Migration
  • In the North, the African Americans faced prejudice and racism
  • The racism they faced caused African Americans to join together and create tight knit communities
  • For more history on the Great Migration, click here
  • Click here for more on Jacob Lawrence, artist of the painting on the right

game_icon.svg.pngGo here for an interactive approach to the Great Migration series by Jacob Lawrence from the Phillips Collection.

Recent Immigration
  • African immigration to America doubled between 2000 and 2010
  • Most relocate for job opportunities
  • Most immigrants come from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya
  • The most common places they relocate to are California, New York, Texas, Maryland, and Virginia
  • 2/5 have a bachelor's degree or higher
  • 1/3 work in professional environments
  • Click here or here for more information and charts
  • Click here for information specifically related to Ethiopia
  • Click here for the cities in the USA that have the highest amounts of Ethiopians

C. major European immigrant groups who have come to America, locating their countries of origin and where they tended to settle in large numbers (e.g., English, Germans, Italians, Scots, Irish, Jews, Poles, and Scandinavians).

Click here for the PBS site "Destination America". Contains information on when and why various groups immigrated to America. Includes personal stories and teacher resources.
Multimedia.pngClick here for an interactive map from the New York Times on where various groups settled in America. On this map, you can change the country of origin and the year to see the changes.

Click here for information from the Library of Congress on immigration. Sections on Native Americans, Africans, Germans, Irish, Scandinavians, Italians, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, Puerto Rican/Cuban, and Polish/Russian. Also can be viewed by state standards.

timeline2_rus.svg.pngClick here for a timeline of immigration to the US

lessonplan.jpgClick here for a lesson plan on immigration to America

D. major Spanish-speaking (e.g., Cubans, Mexicans) and Asians (e.g., Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese) immigrant groups who have come to America in the 19th and 20th centuries, locating their countries of origin and where then tended to settle in large numbers. (H, G)

The interactive map and the Library of Congress site linked above are also very useful to show Spanish-speaking and Asian immigration to America.

Map Showing High Cuban Populations in the US

Click here for an article about Cuban immigration to the US. It explains the process of how many immigrate to the US
timeline2_rus.svg.pngClick here for a timeline of Elian Gonzalez, a famous case of a boy and his custody case between his relatives in Miami and his father in Cuba.

Mexican Populations in the US. The Red Line is the Former USA-Mexican Border

Click here for information from PBS about Mexican immigration.

Click here for numbers and data on the Mexican population in the US

lessonplan.jpgClick here for a lesson plan on crossing the Mexico-US border from PBS. Intended for 6th grade, but it is possible to change for 4th grade students.

Map Showing High Chinese Populations in the US

Click here for information on Chinese immigration to the US

Click here to read about the Chinese Immigration and Chinese Exclusion Acts

timeline2_rus.svg.pngClick here for a timeline of Chinese immigration to the US

Map Showing Populations of Japanese in the US

Click here or here for information on Japanese immigration to the US

Click here for information about anti-Japanese actions that took place in the US

Click here for information on Angel Island, the immigration station most Japanese traveled through

Map Showing Korean Populations in the US

Click here for a history of Korean immigration to the US

timeline2_rus.svg.pngClick here for a timeline of Korean immigration


Map Showing Vietnamese Populations in the US

Click here for information about Vietnam immigration to the US

Click here for the NPR interview about Vietnamese refugees coming to the US after the Vietnam War