Introduction for Teachers

Getting the most out of these lesson plans and resources
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Exciting Changes at the Museum

The Grenada National Museum is pleased to announce the release of the first installment of Teacher Kits to accompany a forthcoming exhibit on Amerindian Heritage. The kits include lesson plans and activities for Grades 4 through Form 5 for use before, during, and after visiting the museum. Additionally, a set of Field Trip Guides include similar lessons and activities for use at the Duquesne Beach Petroglyphs, Leaper’s Hill, and Pearls Airport sites.

We hope you take the time to explore everything the new exhibits have to offer. These resources were designed to help you engage your students in using these exhibits to learn about Grenada’s history, beginning with our early Amerindian ancestors. We hope you enjoy them.

Mission of the National Museum

The GNM shall be the premier resource for residents, visitors, students and scholars who are interested in learning about the historical, natural and cultural heritage of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. The GNM will collect, preserve, research, interpret and display the historical, natural and cultural heritage of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique through our exhibits, educational programs, and cultural and historical experiences that will foster an understanding and interest in the heritage of the people of Grenada.

Our Values

The Grenada National Museum is…

  • • Passionate About History and Culture
  • • Open to New Ideas
  • • Respectful and Inclusive
  • • Supportive of Education and Learning

About this Teacher Kit

As you may determine from the contents listed above, there are five major units to accompany each of our new exhibition rooms. Within these 5 units are numerous lessons and themes that you are encouraged to explore with your students as you navigate through the early Amerindian (Island-Carib/Arawak) history outlined in the social studies curriculum.

Many misconceptions abound about the "Arawaks" and "Caribs." As you go through the guides, discrepancies between our content here and current classroom texts will become apparent. Archaeological evidence over the past 50 years has given light to some of these issues, but many textbooks today (esp. those written before 1980) perpetuate common misconceptions. For instance, Caribs were not cannibals—at least not any more than a Catholic taking communion or praying to a relic is. They may not have been any more “war-like” than the Arawaks (it’s possible they were all descended from the same people).

Another big misconception is the flagrant misuse of the words Carib and Arawak. In the 19th Century, linguists analyzed the native dictionaries produced by priests of the early colonial period. They found that the languages were all Arawakan languages—that is, related to a large language family in South America named after a group by the same name. Similarly, Carib is another big language family derived from one group of Amerindians who call themselves Caribs. Unlike Arawak, however, "Carib" was widely used in early colonial times to describe any Amerindians who were belligerent or uncooperative with Europeans. Thus, it’s a colonial generalization reflecting European bias and stereotyping. At any rate, the linguist who discovered this in the 19th Century, and the archaeologists working in the Caribbean in the 1950s, used the term Island-Arawak and Island-Carib to denote the difference between mainland Arawaks and Caribs. Unfortunately for us all, the Island prefix never caught on and confusion ensues to this day!

Thus, come to these lessons with an open mind, ready to challenge previous beliefs with new knowledge.

We hope you find this content to be meaningful, offering connections to topics and themes you currently teach your students. We present activities to encourage students to think critically, analyze and evaluate situations in a historical or archaeological context, and explore the world around them by examining the objects of their ancestral past.

We have designed these lessons around the use of out-of-class activities and museum resources to support effective learning of history, cultural heritage, and other topics outlined in the social studies curriculum. It is our hope that students will better understand our place in the modern world by learning background of social concerns and issues that still affect us today.

We feel these lessons are best taught with student-centered instruction, with the teacher acting as a guide and facilitator, providing information and clarifying ideas only when needed. The activities and discussion prompts are meant to engage students in becoming “investigators” of the past, not too different from how historians and archaeologists operate.

Learning Foundations

Our lessons focus on the following foundations of learning, as identified in the K-6 Social Studies Curriculum:

Build Knowledge

Inform students of issues and concepts to help them construct and organize their knowledge and experiences of the world; provide a foundational background of why they should care for the environment and learn of their heritage by studying groups that settled in the Caribbean;

Build Skills

Help students learn how to find information, develop thinking, analyzing, and cognitive skills, become better communicators of their ideas, and improve their ability to identify and solve problems.

Build Values

Help students develop the attitudes and values needed to become more tolerant of other cultures and groups, be positive members of society, value cultural differences, and respect differing points of view (especially when analyzing historical records and narratives with differing points of view).

Build Social Participation

Provide students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to understand their modern life through a solid understanding of history; this enables them to become active and informed participants in society and develop concern over their community, especially in the protection of archaeological dig sites containing precious artifacts.

Provide Citizenship Education

Help students develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to participate in society as responsible citizens, especially in their willingness to preserve Grenada’s historical and cultural heritage.

We Want Your Feedback

How do these lessons hold up in practice? How are the activities? What works, and what doesn’t? Do you have any recommendations on how to improve these? We would love to hear from you. Please complete our evaluation survey to provide feedback on a unit lesson and make suggestions for improvement. Additionally, you may email the museum at