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Last is a lesson on Native American Superstitions
Social Studies, Language Arts
Title – Native American Spider Superstitions
By – Jennifer Dalke
Subject – Social Studies, Language Arts
Grade Level – 4-5
**Note – This lesson plan uses some handout(s) that are not available, however, much of the lesson plan can be completed without the handout(s).
Illinois State Goals: 16. Understand events, trends, individuals, and movements shaping the history of Illinois, the United States, and other nations
17. Understand world geography and the effects of geography on society
18. Understand social systems, with an emphasis on the United States
Students will use reference books to find out more superstitions, where the different superstitions come from, and why they came about. They will also write their own spider superstitions.
* reference books
* I will start out by reading the two superstitions printed on the handout to the class. I will ask the children if they ever heard of these sayings before.
* I will ask the children if they think these are true. If you let a spider run free, will you really live and thrive?
1. I will explain that these sayings are called superstitions. Superstitions are beliefs that are not supported by science, so they cannot be considered fact. I will ask the children to share any other superstitions they have heard before.
2. I will explain to the children that all superstitions have stories behind them and that, if you look far enough back in history, we can find out where they come from. I will tell the children that today we will be finding out about superstitions and their origins.
3. I will pass out the spider superstition handout and explain to the children that they will use the reference books to find new superstitions. They must find one superstition and, on the back of the handout, write the superstition, the country it originated in, and why it came about.
4. After they have finished this, they should try to make up their own superstitions about spiders which they should write in the box on the front of the handout. I will ask them how they think they might do this. I will guide them to the conclusion that they should use their own experiences, beliefs, and ideas to come up with a unique superstition. I will share my own with them: If you kill a spider today, it will come back to you in May =)
5. I will let the children have about twenty minutes of working time. I will tell them that it is fine if they want to share their findings with their neighbors, but they must stay in their seats and use quiet voices.
6. I will pass out reference books and allow the children to work.
7. When they have finished, I will call on students to share any interesting, funny, or wacky superstitions they have found. I will ask each child to read his or her new spider superstition to the class.
Cassie (LD)- I will give Cassie a reference book that is already marked with where the information is. She will need to pick out the appropriate information from a short portion of the book. She can work with a partner who will help her to develop her own spider superstition.
* I will ask the students why they think different superstitions exist in all parts of the world. I will tell them that cultures, religions, and environmental factors are different in all parts of the world, and this influences the superstitions that came about.
* I will tell them that they should ask their parents, grandparents, or other family members if they have heard any other superstitions about spiders. The children may share any that they find out tomorrow in class. I will collect the handouts.
Students will be assessed on whether they have written down the correct information. They should have one superstition, where it originated, and why it came about. They should also have written their own new spider superstition.
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