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Indigenous Americas: Home

Indigenous Americas Assignment

Mr. Lawrence

8th Cultural Geography

Ancient Civilizations, Cultures, and Kingdoms Project – Indigenous Americas

Each student will choose a topic from the list below.  You will then complete an oral presentation meeting the following criteria:

LENGTH AND FORMAT: Your report should be approximately 3:00 to 4:00 minutes in length.  In addition to the presentation, you will need a quality visual aid as well as a thorough and typed outline.

SOURCES: You must have at least three sources for your report (maximum one encyclopedia, two other sources - reputable websites are ok; NO Wikipedia does not count as one of the three sources!).  While the exact form in which you cite your sources is not important, it is essential that you do cite your sources.  DO NOT PLAGIARIZE!!  FAMILIARIZE, ANALYZE, and PROSELYTIZE!!

CONTENT: Each of the topics below is an important civilization, culture, or kingdom in the Americas before Colonial Involvement. 

The important thing is that you provide a clear and concise overview and that you explain the significance of your topic! You need to develop an argumentative thesis statement (like a topic sentence in a paragraph but for your entire presentation) and prominently display it on your visual aid. You should then organize your presentation or outline into two to four bodies of information, each consisting of a main argument in support of your thesis.  It looks like this:

    • Paragraph Topic Sentence
      • Proof
      • Proof
      • Proof
      • Etc…
        • Concluding Statement
    • Paragraph Topic Sentence
      • Proof
      • Proof
      • Proof
      • Etc…
        • Concluding Statement
    • Paragraph Topic Sentence
      • Proof
      • Proof
      • Proof
      • Etc…
        • Concluding Statement

FYI – you may do as few as 2 (comparing/contrasting) paragraphs, and as many as 100, just be sure to finish between the necessary time limits.

EXPLANATION: For your outline, you will need to include your thesis statement.  Then, type out a topic sentence for each paragraph / grouping of subject matter as it relates to proving your thesis statement.  Some ideas for relevant material would be the following: demographics (population size, trends, ethnicities), culture (art, mythology, important stories), and political events (trade, wars, impact on environment) from your topic.  After your topic sentence, you will need supports.  These evidences will be the proof for your assertions, and will help your presentation flow logically. You do not need to write complete sentences for these supports, since you will show/explain them in your presentation.  Lastly, to complete each paragraph, you will need a concluding statement that draws together your proofs to complete your argument.  Finally, you will emphatically express your confidence that you have demonstrated your thesis statement effectively with an ultimate conclusion.

Go beyond a simple report on your topic and offer an analysis of how this culture organized themselves, found a distinct identity, and made decisions or advances that effected peoples and nations.  Try to explore the causes and effects, the “why” as well as the “what” in order to fully argue your thesis and cover necessary material.


Simply because you will not write a whole paper, do not be mistaken to think you will not need quality content in your outline or for your presentation.  On the contrary, this project will rely more on specific information – and corresponding analysis - than word filler.

DUE DATE: Tuesday, April 26th.

Civilizations, Cultures, and Kingdoms:

















Nez Pierce Claiborne


Hopewell Culture

Mississippian Culture Puebloan Culture

Mr. Lawrence

8th Cultural Geography

Indigenous America Project      



____Outline – Thesis statement, topic sentences per paragraph, specific evidence, concluding statements




____Visual Aid – quality images, balanced information, relevant and appealing



____ Length – at least 2:00, not to exceed 3:00


____ Significance – why is this person or topic famous/important?


____ Key Evidence – identify (with dates) key events, details, or facts


____ Story – include at least one interesting story (anecdote)


____ Organization – clear beginning, middle, end; coherent instead of random rambling


____ Delivery – pronunciation, familiarity with content, eye contact


Online Resources

Books on Reserve in the Library

A Brief History of the Caribbean (972.8 FOS)

A Brief History of Mexico (972 FOS)

A Brief History of Central America (972.9)

Ancient Maya (972.81 DEM)

Ancient America (970.013 LON)

The Aztecs (972 BAR)

Before Columbus (970.01 MAN)

Chile (983 MCN)

Indians of the Plains (978 AND)

The Native Americans (355 NAR)

Tennessee's Indian People (970.004 SAT)

The West (978 WAR)