Lessons on the Lake Title
Lessons on the Lake logo The History of the Basin
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Lessons on the Lake -> Chapter List -> Chapter 10 -> Lesson 7: Activity:  Basin Culture



  • The students will conduct research about a chosen or assigned cultural group of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. In cooperative groups the students will gather and organize the information about several cultures, create a concept map, and share the information with the whole class.


  1. Reference books with information about the cultures of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin
  2. Butcher paper or easel pads
  3. Thick markers
  4. Handout: Gathering and Organizing Facts About the Cultures of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin

Getting Ready:

  1. Conduct a search for information about the cultural groups in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. Refer to the resource section at the end of this chapter; try the Internet as a research tool; contact resource people in the community.
  2. Arrange a field trip to the local library or other resource in your community such as a museum where students can gather facts about cultural history.


  1. Assign cooperative groups. The roles of “information scouts,” “note-takers,” “information organizers,” and “facilitators” will be needed.
  2. Provide each group with research materials. Brainstorm with the group additional avenues of information.
  3. Give each student a copy of Handout: Gathering and Organizing Facts About the Cultures of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.
  4. Help the groups divide the topics among the members.
  5. If you choose to take a field trip to the library or museum, assist the students in selecting relevant information.
  6. If the students have never made a concept map before, show them some examples and create a practice concept map with the whole class. (An example is provided on the handout.)
  7. After the information gathering is complete, the students work together in their groups to put the main ideas into a concept map. The facilitators in each group are responsible for writing single words and phrases to convey information about the cultural history of their group on the easel paper.
  8. Help the groups follow the directions on the handout to complete their concept map.
  9. Each group explains its finished concept map to the rest of the class, sharing information about all the cultures studied. Encourage the students to add creativity to their presentation with slide shows, dances, food, traditional dress, etc., to illustrate the culture they studied.

  1. Introduction
  2. Essential Questions
  3. Historical Highlights
  4. Activity: Explore History
  5. Activity: Dramatization
  6. Activity:  Dramatic Timeline
  7. Activity: Basin 
  8. Activity: Capturing History In a Box
  9. Activity: Historical Research
  10. Activity: Marsh Mysteries Quiz