People in Societies

Ohio Social Studies Grade 3-5 Benchmarks

A.    Compare practices and products of North American cultural groups. (Culture)
  • Y2003.CSS.S02.G03-05.BA.L04.I01
B.    Explain the reasons people from various cultural groups came to North America and the consequences of their interactions with each other. (Interaction)
  • Y2003.CSS.S02.G03-05.BB.L04.I02
  • Y2003.CSS.S02.G03-05.BB.L04.I03

Downloadable PDF Files

History from the Ohio Hills Teacher Resources Guide: S02 People in Societies
Quizzes and Worksheets:

Classroom Activities

Activity #1

Social Studies: Culture: Y2003.CSS.S02.G03-05.BA.L04.I01
Fine Art: Visual Art: Y2003.CAV.S01.GKG-04.BA.L04.I01 and Y2003.CAV.S01.GKG-04.BB.L04.I02

Study designs found on pottery of Native Americans. Obtain clay from a local source, if possible, or make your own (see recipe below). Create a pot and using a stick (or a toothpick) cut a design into it similar to the examples you studied. Be sure to initial the bottom. Allow the pot to dry before handling.

Clay recipe (Yield: 1 pot):Mix 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of salt, and just enough water to moisten into a ball of clay.

Activity #2

Social Studies: Culture: Y2003.CSS.S02.G03-05.BA.L04.I01
Fine Art: Visual Art: Y2003.CAV.S05.GKG-04.BB.L04.I03
Writing: Y2001.CEW.S02.G03-04.BA.L04.I05

Study petroglyphs left by Ohio's prehistoric cultures. Brainstorm petroglyphs for common events and objects in the classroom and/or on the playground. Reproduce the petroglyphs so that each student has his/her own copy. Have the students write a story using only the petroglyphs. See if students can "read" each others stories.

Variation: Create clay tablets/plaques and have the students write their stories in the moist clay. Dry the plaques.

Activity #3

Social Studies: Culture: Y2003.CSS.S02.G03-05.BA.L04.I01

Choose one or more cultures and study the tools and building materials the culture(s) used for building houses, hunting for food, preparing meals, etc. Then, have the students create a chart to share what they have learned. One idea is displayed below. Alternative for assessment: Give the students a chart with most, but not all, of the information displayed and ask them to fill in the blanks.

Cultural Groups Tool Materials Product/Task
Adena Needle Deer bone Sewing
Hopewell Hoe Deer bone, wood Loosening dirt for planting or weeding

Variation #1: Compare and contrast the tools of historic and prehistoric Indians.

Activity #4

Social Studies: Culture: Y2003.CSS.S02.G03-05.BA.L04.I01
Mathematics: Measurement: Y2003.CMA.S02.G03-04.BB.L04.I01 and I05

Native Americans taught the settlers how to make deer jerky. Of course, today we also make jerky from other meats. They cut the deer meat into strips, smoked the strips and let them dry in the sun. The jerky would last for months and was easy to carry while they traveled Ohio or hunted for meat in the forests. Prepare a feast of Native American foods including deer jerky, venison roast, rabbit stew, fried or baked squash, parched corn, dried berries, maple sugar candy, sunflower seeds, hickory nuts, and persimmons.

Variation #1: Prepare a feast of exclusively British, French, German, Irish, Latino, Asian, or African American foods.

Variation #2: Prepare a feast with one food from each culture (Native American, French, British, German, Irish, Latino, Asian, and African American).  Examples: British > shepherd's pie, Irish > Irish stew, German > oxtail soup. Challenge the students to match the food to its originating culture.

Activity #5

Social Studies: Culture: Y2003.CSS.S02.G03-05.BA.L04.I01
Science: Physical: Y2003.CSC.S03.G03-05.BA.L04.I01 and Y2003.CSC.S03.G03-05.BB.L04.I04I

Have the students "churn" butter.
Gather materials: 1 cup whipping cream, small jar with secure lid, pinch of salt
Churn butter: Place 1 cup of whipping cream into a small jar with a secure lid. Allow it to warm to room temperature. Shake the cream until a clump of butter has formed. Add a scant pinch of salt. Serve on slices of bread.

Activity #6

Social Studies: Culture: Y2003.CSS.S02.G03-05.BA.L04.I01
Science: Physical: Y2003.CSC.S03.G03-05.BA.L04.I01 and I04

Ohio's pioneer settlers made candles from tallow or beeswax to make light for their evening activities in their homes. Here is a recipe for making candles. (CAUTION! Use extreme caution when handling melted paraffin.)

Gather Materials: stove, 48-ounce can, pan large enough to hold can, water to fill the pan to a depth of 2 inches, 2 sticks of paraffin, string: cut into 12 inch lengths for candle wicks and to tie off cooling candles, newspapers, broom handle, two chairs with high backs.

Prepare the workspace: Pour two inches of water into a large pot and place it on low heat. Place two sticks of paraffin into a clean, dry, empty 48-ounce can. Put the can in the pan of water that is being heated. While you wait for the paraffin to melt, place an old broom handle between the slats of two high-backed chairs. Spread newspapers under the chairs were the candles will cool and in the area where the candles will be dipped for easier cleanup of spills.

Dip the candles: Carefully remove the paraffin from the stove and move it to the newspaper-covered area. Lower a length of string into the melted paraffin. Lift it out and hold until it begins to harden. Repeat the process until the candle is the size you desire. Tie the wick onto the broomstick so that the finished candle can cool.

Activity #7

Social Studies:
•    Interaction: Y2003.CSS.S02.G03-05.BB.G04.I03
•    Culture: Y2003.CSS.S02.G03-05.BA.L04.I01

Writing: Communication: Y2003.CEW.S05.G03-04.BA.L04.I01 and Y2003.CEW.S05.G03-04.BD.L04.I03

•    Productivity: Y2003.CTE.S03.G03-05.BB.L04.I03, I04, I05, I06, I07;
•    Productivity: Y2003.CTE.S03.G03-05.BC.L04.I01, I02, I03
•    Applications: Y2003.CTE.S04.G03-05.BB.L04.I03, I04, I05
•    Information Literacy: Y2003.CTE.S05.B03-05.BA.L04.I01, I02, I03

Have students interview their parents and grandparents about their family histories. Beforehand, prepare a list of questions that might be asked; acquire permission to record the interviews by audio or video. Questions might include:
  • From what country (or countries) did you or (your ancestors) immigrate to America – or move to Ohio?
  • Why did you (or your ancestors) immigrate to America – or move to Ohio?
  • Can you tell me any stories, traditions, foods, celebrations, or beliefs you (or your ancestors) brought with them to America – or Ohio?
Variation #1: Prepare one or more posters that represent the stories, traditions, foods, and/or celebrations of your personal cultural heritage. Display your poster(s) and discuss them. Ask the students to brainstorm ideas that might demonstrate their own cultural heritage. Have the students prepare posters reflecting their cultural heritage.

Variation #2: Prepare a poster for one of Ohio's cultural groups. Display the poster and ask the
students to identify the culture represented.

Variation #3: Use technology to share the results of the activities mentioned in Variation #1 or #2. Students could take digital photographs or scan artwork. They could use the images to create a slide show presentation or one or more postings to the class's web or blog site.

Web Links


InfOhio's state-funded resources are available to all Ohio K-12 students and teachers. Use the Grade K-5 resource components.

Digital Video Collection (The videos may be watched online or downloaded to your computer.)
  • GeoQuest Great Lakes Region series: "Early Man."
  • Ohio River series:
    • "Early Inhabitants"
    • "Sunwatch Village Native American Artifacts"
    • "Native Americans"
    • "Ohio Amish"
    • "Underground Railroad"
    • Episode 121: "First Farmers"
    • Episode 122: "Adena"
Additional useful InfOhio Grade K-5 resource components:
  • American National Biography
  • Britannica Online
  • Kids Search

Ohio Social Studies Resource Center

People in Societies The Ohio Social Studies Resource Center (OSSRC) provides links to peer-reviewed instructional resources that have been identified by a review board of Ohio educators as exemplifying best or promising practices. The resources are correlated with the Ohio Social Studies Academic Content Standards. The site is organized first by content standard, then by grade level, and finally by indicator. Entries are divided into content resources and instructional resources.

Ohio Instructional Management System Model Lessons

Navigate to Ohio IMS. Do an IMS Quick Search for Lesson Plans. Content Area: Social Studies, Grade Level: as desired. A list of model lessons appears. Choose a lesson and add it to your IMS Backpack account – or download it in either PDF or Microsoft Word format. People in Societies Model Lessons include:
  • Grade 3: "Cultural Practices and Products of the Local Community" and "Cultures in the Community"
  • Grade 4: "Accordion Book for Comparing Cultures"
  • Grade 5: "African-American Slavery," and "Exploring Cultural Practices and Products"

Ohio Treasure Chest of Technology Resources

Social Studies web site. The Ohio Treasure Chest is an online collection of thousands of web sites that are high quality, teacher-reviewed, interactive, and free. The Social Studies web site is aligned directly to the Ohio Academic Content Standards and is ready for use in your classroom. The site is organized first by grade level, then by standard, and finally by indicator. Entries are divided into web resources and lesson plans. North Canton City Schools' Technology Integration Specialist Eric Curts administers this site.

Distance Learning Opportunities

The Ohio Distance Learning web site links users to exemplary distance learning resources and provides a forum for discussing issues relating to video distance learning. Distance learning events are usually held in registered videoconferencing rooms (called Video Rooms). eTech Ohio registers the rooms. Video Rooms are located in many of Ohio's K-12 schools, at Educational Service Centers, at State Support Team facilities, and in other locations. Each Video Room has a designated room contact and a technical contact person. Distance Learning events are scheduled through the contact people. If your school or community has distance learning equipment but no registered Video Room, the Ohio Distance Learning web site includes video tutorials on how to register a room at eTech Ohio and how to schedule events. The following list includes program titles and their content providers for the People in Societies standard.

Isobel Arvin
  • Meet Mrs. Graber, An Amish Woman
Ohio Historical Society 
  • Ohio's Mound Building Cultures
  • Show Me, Tell Me about American Indian Heritage
  • Should They Go or Should They Stay? [American Indian removal from the Ohio Territory]
  • Can She Trust You? [Underground Railroad]
  • So You Know Ohio? Interactive game show cultural groups catagory: "Likes and Dislikes"

Field Trips

Two types of web links are listed for each of the suggested field trip locations.
  1. Facility links lead to touring information about the site. Expect to find information about hours, educational tours, exact location, and background about the site.
  2. Social Studies Connection links lead to historical information about the site.
  • In some instances these links are site specific.
  • Most entries reference articles in the Ohio Historical Society's online encyclopedia Ohio History Central. Ohio History Central encompasses Ohio's natural history, prehistory, and history. 
  • Navigate to Ohio History Central. Then, type (or copy/paste) a title of an article into Ohio History Central's search box.
Adena Mansion and Gardens
•    Chillicothe, Ohio (Ross County)
•    Facility: Adena
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Adena Culture

Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center
•    Dayton, Ohio (Montgomery County)
•    Facility: Museum and Cultural Center
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: African Americans

Flint Ridge
•    Glenford, OH (Licking County)
•    Facility: Flint Ridge
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Flint Ridge

Fort Ancient
•    Oregonia, Ohio (Warren County)
•    Facility: Fort Ancient
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Fort Ancient Culture

German Village
•    Columbus, Ohio (Franklin County)
•    Area: German Village
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: German Immigrants

Hopewell Culture National Park
•    Chillicothe, Ohio (Ross County)
•    Facility: Hopewell Culture Park
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Hopewell Culture

Kennedy Museum of Art (Native American Art and Textiles)
•    Athens, Ohio (Athens County)
•    Facility: Visits and Tours, Kennedy Museum   
•    Virtual Presentation: From Sheep to Loom

Leo Petroglyph
•    Leo, Ohio (Jackson County)
•    Facility: Leo Petroglyph
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Leo Petroglyph

Miamisburg Mound
•    Miamisburg, Ohio (Montgomery County)
•    Facility: Miamisburg Mound
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Adena Culture

Multicultural Ohio – Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism
•    Locate Ohio cultural events, festivals, fairs, cook-offs, and showcases.
•    Regions: Northeast, Northwest, Central, and South.

Newark Earthworks: Great Circle, Octagon, and Wright Earthworks
•    Newark, Ohio (Licking County)
•    Facilities: Great CircleOctagon, and Wright Earthworks
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Newark Earthworks

Ohio Museum Listings
•    Ohio Museums Association: View museum listings by name, region, or type.

Seip Mound and Story Mound
•    Chillicothe, Ohio (Ross County)
•    Facilities: Story Mound, and Seip Mound
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Hopewell Culture

Serpent Mound
•    Bainbridge, Ohio (Adams County)
•    Facility: Serpent Mound
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Fort Ancient Culture

Shrum Mound
•    Columbus, Ohio (Franklin County)
•    Facility: Shrum Mound
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Adena Culture

Sunwatch Village
•    Dayton, Ohio (Montgomery County)
•    Facility: Sunwatch Village
•    Socials Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Fort Ancient Culture

Ohio Historical Society
•    Columbus, Ohio (Franklin County)
•    Facility: Ohio Historical Society 
•    Social Studies Connections: Ohio 

Zoar Village
•    Zoar, Ohio (Tuscarawas County)
•    Facility: Zoar Village
•    Social Studies Connection: Ohio History Central: Zoar

Trade Book Connections

Social Studies Trade Books for Grades 3-5 • The Ohio Resource Center (ORC)
The web page is organized by Ohio Grades 3-5 benchmarks and lists each book's author, copyright date, title and publisher. ORC provides a bibliography of trade books compiled by Kathy Buck, Elementary Librarian, Xenia Community Schools.

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People • The National Council of Social Studies (NCSS).
Each year the NCSS publishes an annotated book list of notable books that were copyrighted in the previous year. The books are evaluated and selected by a Book Review Committee appointed by National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and assembled in cooperation with the Children's Book Council (CBC). One must purchase a membership to the NCSS to view the most recent year's online book list but past lists are available in downloadable PDF format. 
  • Once a book list file is downloaded and launched, use your PDF viewer's keyword search/find function to quickly locate appropriate books.
  • Book lists are organized by Theme Strands. The NCSS strands that match Ohio's People in Societies standard include: I. Culture; III. People, Places, and Environments; IV. Individual Development and Identity; and V. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions.
  • Grade Level codes are: Primary (P), Intermediate (I), Middle School (M), and High School (H)