4th Grade Program
Our 4th grade “Kids to Museum” program focuses on the culture and history of the local Native American tribes: The Coquille Indian Tribe and The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw, and was developed with extensive guidance from tribal members and educators. The 4th grade program was selected for a “Heritage Excellence” award by the Oregon Heritage Commission in 2008.
The classroom portion of the program, entitled “Indians Today,” focuses on the issues most important to Native Americans in Oregon now. The incorporation of traditional values and practices in a contemporary context is discussed. This lesson is delivered first so that students are able to view the historical artifacts and traditional practices presented in the other parts of the program with the understanding that they provide the context for a dynamic and changing culture.
After learning about modern Native American cultures, students visit the Coos History Museum to view our collection of Native American tools, baskets, and other artifacts. Students are asked to investigate the objects as a historian would, thinking carefully about the meaning and value of each item. They are also asked to engage with historical figures of local significance through our interactive Living History characters (Inquire if interested in this volunteer opportunity).
The program culminates at the Coquille Indian Tribe’s Community plank house. This site provides students the opportunity to learn about traditional lifestyles and plank house construction (interpreted in some respects with modern materials). Tribal members explain and demonstrate storytelling, basket-making, salmon-baking, canoe journey, and the construction and use of traditional tools.
Throughout our program, we encourage students to interact with historical issues and artifacts and to consider them in the context of tribes in the past and today.
Standards Addressed by 4th Grade Program