Tales from California’s Channel Islands: Dark Water

Collector: Ann V.

As part of their study of the history of the Channel Islands, class members watch Dark Water, a documentary about a traditional Chumash ceremony. The documentary launches a series of lessons about this tribal nation that inhabited the Channel Islands. Scholars craft an informational article to post on a bulletin board that features the Chumash ancestral tradition of tomol paddling. A discussion of bioluminescence launches an investigation of animal adaptations. After re-watching the opening minutes of Dark Water, class members listen to a reading of What Do You Do with a Tail Like This and then create a new animal that has developed adaptations that permit it to survive in its environment. Learners then read a Chumash origin story, create a coat of arms, and craft an essay that details a family tradition or their own origin story.

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Reviewed by Lesson Planet