Draft: R.I. Grade Span Expectations for Civics and Government and Historical Perspectives/R.I. History (version 9.4, updated March 31, 2008) see R.I. Dept. of Education Website:

The following standard can be found on pg. 15, under the "Draft GSE's for Historical Perspectives/R.I. History Strand":

Standard HP1: History is an account of human activities that is interpretive in nature.
Standard HP1 (3-4)-1: Students act as historians, using a variety of tools (e.g., artifacts and primary and secondary sources) by classifying objects, artifacts and symbols from long ago and today, and describing how they add to our understanding of the past.

Native American Wampum
Often times, wampum is mistakenly thought of as "Indian money", when in fact it was something quite different to the Native Americans.
Wampum is small beads made of shells- white (from Whelk) shells and purple (from Quahogs- found in the Narragansett Bay, among a few other places). The beads were strung together into larger pieces that wove designs and figures, related to a particular occasion. Wampum pieces sometimes served as memory aides, and were also objects used to honor or commemorate an event. They were often given as gifts, and were highly valued. When Europeans realized that the beads were highly prized by Native Americans, they began to use them extensively in trade with the Native Americans, and this is how the idea that wampum was literally Native American currency. Because of the difficulty of making the beads by hand, and the fact that at one time the belts were very widely used in trade with Native Americans, companies began making glass wampum beads.

Here is a website where you can design a wampum belt of your own:
Once you are on the "Virtual Wampum Belt" Site, click on the link that gives you history and shows some examples of Native American Wampum.

When I ask fourth grade students what they know about Canada, our neighbor to the north, often their answers are along the lines of " They have funny looking bacon." or "There is a maple leaf on the flag." But Canada is so much more!
  • Do you know that Canada is the second biggest nation in the world in size? But with all that space, they only have 1/10th the population of the United States!
  • Canada is a population of immigrants from other countries as well as Native people called First Nations people.
  • Canada is rich in resources, and one of the US's biggest trading partners.
  • They celebrate Thanksgiving in October.

Join us on a journey of discovery about our nearest neighbor.

What is the correct way to address this group of people?
What’s in a name? “Indian” was the name that fifteenth-century Italian explorer Christopher Columbus wrongly gave to the people he encountered when he arrived in what he believed was the “Indies,” or part of Asia, but actually was the Americas. In the 1960s, the name “Native American” was introduced to eliminate confusion between people from the country of India and the native people of the Americas. “American Indian” has been used for the same purpose. Some have viewed the use of “Indian” in any form as insulting and related to stereotypes. Native American, seen as more respectful by some, became seen as too generic, bureaucratic, or tied to the government by others. Other terms such as “indigenous people of North America” and “Amerindians” have been used. In 1995 a U.S. Census Bureau survey of preferences for racial and ethnic terms indicated that 49 percent of Native people preferred being called American Indian (the term used by the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs); 37 percent preferred Native American; 3.6 percent preferred another term; and 5 percent had no preference.

Click here for more information about Native Americans