Handout for The Cultures of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin activity.

Gathering And Organizing Facts About The Cultures Of The Lake Pontchartrain Basin

1. Research your own cultural heritage or choose a culture:
  • Native American
  • European
  • African
  • Asian
  • South & Central American
  • Pacific
  • Caribbean
  • Canadian

2. Distribute the following questions to the cooperative groups. Work with a partner to research your questions for the culture you are studying. Write notes in response to each question you answer.

  • What were major differences between the homeland and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin?

  • What are some of the culture's ethnic recipes?

  • Describe or draw the traditional dress of the settlers of your culture.

  • What are the traditional holidays or festivals of your culture?

  • What did the people of your culture traditionally do to make a living?

  • What are some of the tools or other artifacts that may be associated with your culture?

  • List six characteristic given names for males and females within the culture.

  • List place names (e.g. towns and rivers) named by your culture.

  • What was the main hardship faced by your culture when they arrived in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin?

  • How did the people solve their problems?

  • What was the main reason your cultural group came to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin?

  • Name the main areas of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin in which the culture settled.

  • What is the original language of the culture? Learn some words or phrases from this language. Is the language spoken today by the residents of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin?

  • Find and write out a traditional song of the culture.

  • Learn a traditional dance of the culture and perform it when your group presents its concept map.

  • How did the people use the natural resources available in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin?

3. Make a concept map of your culture. Look at the concept map of the Islenos (Islanders) of St. Bernard Parish. You may use this as a model, or you may adapt or modify it.

4. In your group, share the new information you have found. On an easel pad or piece of paper taped on the wall, write down all the single words or short sentences that repre-sent the facts found for each research area. Do not leave anything out.

5. Organize these words and sentences under appropriate headings or categories. Now you can edit the ideas, leaving out the ones that don't fit.

6. Begin with a fresh piece of paper to make a finished concept map of your culture.

7. Present your concept map to the class. Spice up the presentation with a dance, song or a traditional dish from your culture. If possible, dress in the traditional clothing of your culture from the early settler's days.

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