Chumash Studies

My favorite part was singing Chumash songs.
~ Third Grade Student

Chumash Studies

What was life like for the Chumash people in Santa Barbara long ago? Third graders take on this challenge as they create a Chumash village right in their own classroom. Students begin by asking the question: What do we need to know to recreate an ancient Chumash community? Students generate a wall of additional questions, including: How did they communicate? What were their traditions? How were their structures made? Did they play? Where did they get food? When did they live? What kind of music and art did they make? What kind of clothing did they wear? What were their tools and weapons like? How did their economy work?

Students research the answers to these questions and more, and learn note-taking strategies to record what they discover. They visit Chumash Hall at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the Wishtoyo Discovery Village in Malibu. There they see what we have read about, and find additional answers to their questions. Then, students transform their classroom to match this earlier era and build Chumash huts in the Crane gardens.