||Scope of the Module
The MuseumLink Prehistoric or pre-European-contact Native American module focuses on the Illinois Indians and their environment, as it is taught by teachers in grades 4 - 12. Unlike the Historic Module, which covers a time period of only several hundred years, the Pre-historic module covers a span of thousands of years and five periods arranged chronologically: Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and Late Prehistoric.
Objectives of the Module
Students and teachers will:
Understand more about the history of Illinois and its Native American population from 14,000 years ago to A.D.1600
Increase their knowledge of the lifeways of Native American peoples.
Most of the text sections of this module have been written at eighth to eleventh grade level. Testing has shown, however, that many fifth graders can manage the text independently. Some of the concepts are more difficult and require the elementary teacher to interpret as needed.
Secondary students will be able to use this module independently for supplementary reading or research.
Resources for Teachers
- The module and all its activities address specific Illinois State Board of Education Standards and Goals. The goals are listed for the modules and for each activity. The goals are listed in each lesson plan, after the Assessment section.
- The glossary is accessible in print as a whole for vocabulary practice, and, in the text, underlined words, when clicked on with the mouse, open a popup window containing the definition.
- The Readings in Illinois Archaeology are grouped into topics of culture history, regional studies, and additional readings. There are few other Web resources on Illinois Indians.
- Activities are available in PDF and html formats
Use the expanding menu in the upper left-hand corner of your screen to proceed through the module or click on any of the links in the menu when browsing. There are no NEXT or BACK buttons on the pages, so learning to navigate with the menu is important for your students.
There is an identical list of topics of discussion for each of the five chronological settlement periods. They are: identification, environment, economy, technology, society, beliefs, and archaeological sites. Within these topics are subtopics of specific examples. (For instance, technology’s subtopics are shelter, tools and utensils, containers, and weapons.).
Most sections are illustrated with archaeological artifacts, or paintings reconstructed from archaeological evidence. Most of these artifacts are not on display at the Illinois State museum in Springfield, but an extensive exhibits of items is on permanent display at the Dickson Mounds Museum branch.