Grade Level: 3

Content area: History-Social Science 

Standard identifiers: HSS-3.2.2 

Objectives: Students will: 

  • Understand how the local natural resources were and are used by Chumash people to make baskets 
  • Weave their own baskets 

Materials and Resources: 

Assessment (informal):  

Strategies for English Language Learners and Learners with Special Needs:  

  • Prepare the materials ahead of time, such as cutting the paper strips and creating the tubes around the wooden skewers. 
  • Pause the video to give students time to create as they watch. 
  • Consider starting the baskets for them. The base may be tricky. 
  • Use a simpler weaving pattern, such as this one. (This uses different materials than listed below.) 

Instructional Sequence: 

Introduction and explanation to students about the purpose of the lesson (10-15 minutes) 

  • Start with some discussion questions: 
    • Do you use baskets or anything similar to a basket (backpacks)? What do you use it for? What is it made of?  
    • What if you couldn’t go to a store and buy a basket, bowl, or backpack? What would you use to make something to help you carry things? 
    • Have you ever braided hair or had someone braid your hair? Braiding uses a weaving pattern. Weaving is a pattern created by taking one string over and under another. 
  • Tell the students that the Chumash use natural resources to make baskets. They used them to carry and things like food, shells, and even water. 
  • Show one or two of the videos for students to see the types of plants used and the intricate designs of the Chumash baskets. 
  • Some special features of Chumash baskets are: 
    • Baskets are created using a “coil” technique, with the bottom of the basket starting with a coiled spiral 
    • There are often notch marks, or “ticks” along the rim of the basket 
    • There is usually a band around the inner edge, with extra “filler” designs above and/or below the band 
    • Images or pictures are often symmetrical and repetitive 

Teacher modeling (5 minutes)

Guided practice (10 minutes) 

  • Have students create their baskets as they watch the video or teacher demonstration.  

Practice (independent, partner, group) (10 minutes) 

  • After a while, students will pick up on the pattern of the basket making process.  

Closure (5 minutes)

  • Discussion questions:  
  1. How are the baskets we made in class similar to the baskets we saw in the video? How are they different? 
  2. Do you think it would be easier or harder to use natural resources? 
  3. What will you use your basket for? 

Monitoring for student learning/understanding:

  • As the instructional video is playing, walk around and make sure students are following. 

Reflection after the lesson:  

Take reflection notes on how the lesson went for your future reference.

Download a PDF of this Lesson Plan

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