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Grade 5 1-8

Page history last edited by Pam Merrill 3 years, 9 months ago
Oklahoma Academic Standard 1. The student will examine and compare the Jamestown and Plymouth settlements as the foundations of American culture and society.

Objective 5.1.8 Explain how American Indian agricultural practices, such as the Three Sisters, contributed to the early survival of the colonists.

In a Nutshell

Students should understand that the relationship the colonists developed with the Wampanoag Indians, including the influence of Squanto, was of significant value to their community.  For example, the native agricultural methods of planting food crops was an important contribution to the colonists' survival, providing a balanced diet from a single planting, known as the Three Sisters.

Teacher Action 

Student Action 

  • Assist students to describe how the movement of resources and goods connected the communities of indigenous peoples and European settlers of the North American colonies.

  • Provide opportunities for students to describe the specific contributions of individuals and groups who contributed to the survival of the early colony of Massachusetts.

  • Identify and describe how humans modify and adapt to their physical environment, examining the agricultural practices of American Indians. 

  • Explain how concepts of supply and demand operate in a market economy, using historic examples of the interactions of American Indians and the English colonists. 

Key Concepts 


  •   American Indian agricultural methods, such as fertilization using fish and planting  of the Three Sisters (squash, maize, beans)

  •  famine, survival 

  •  Tisquantum (Squanto), Samoset 

  • Many students may not fully realize the extent and value of Indian relationships  to the survival of the colonists. 

  • Some students will have limited knowledge of the concept of cultural diffusion and that benefits from the encounter of both cultures is possible 

Instructional Resources

Access suggested instructional resources correlated to the learning standard and objective.


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