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Activity Overview

The indigenous people of the California Intermountain Region are famous chiefs, artists, historians, activists, among many other professions. Researching real people helps students to get a more concrete and compassionate understanding of the culture, lives and perspectives of Native Americans. In this activity, students will research a person and then create a biography poster highlighting their life and accomplishments

Using one of the templates or starting from scratch on the poster layout, students will build up a profile of their chosen figure. Depending on requirements or complexity, students can add timelines to their posters. However, the wide variety of characters, scenes, and items makes it very easy for students to customize their project to fit any guidelines.

Find more biography poster templates to add to this assignment if desired!

Some examples of people to research:

  • Sacagawea: (1788-1812, Shoshoni) Led the Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • Chief Bear Hunter: Shoshoni Chief during the Bear River Massacre of 1863
  • Chief Washakie: (1804-1900, Shoshoni Chief) Distinguished leader of the Shoshone who was known as a fierce warrior as well as diplomatic statesman who worked towards peaceful relations with the white settlers including negotiating the Treaty of Laramie.
  • Elsie Allen: (1899-1990, Pomo) Basket weaver instrumental in sustaining and carrying on the tradition of the art form
  • Lucy Telles: (1885-1955, Paiute) Award-winning basket weaver
  • Chief Winnemucca: (1820-1882, Paiute) Prominent leader of the Paiute, father of famous Paiute writer, Sarah Winnemucca and son of Chief Truckee
  • Sarah Winnemucca: (1844-1891, Paiute) Translator, author, educator, activist and daughter of Chief Winnemucca. Her writings offered insights into the lives of the Paiute people and the negative impact of white settlement.
  • Frank Day (Maidu): Konkow artist

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Research a famous or notable person that is of Indigenous heritage from the California Intermountain Region. Create a Biography Poster that highlights their major accomplishments.

Student Instructions:

  1. Choose a person.
  2. Using school resources, conduct some research and learn more about the person's life.
  3. On the poster, include your person’s name and dates of birth (and death if applicable). Choose a character that resembles your person. Add words and images to describe your person’s accomplishments.

Requirements: Person’s image, name, dates of birth/death, accomplishment.

Lesson Plan Reference


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Biography Poster Rubric
Create a biography poster that highlights the important facts about a famous or historic person, character or god.
Proficient Emerging Needs Improvement
The description includes at least five important facts about the famous or historic figure.
The description includes less than five important facts or it includes information that is not pertinent to the famous or historic figure.
The description is incomplete and does not contain important information about the famous or historic figure.
Artistic Depictions
The art chosen to depict the scenes, characters and items that are appropriate to the famous or historic figure. They enhance the poster by symbolizing or illustrating important facts about the figure. Time and care is taken to ensure that the scenes are neat, eye-catching, and creative.
The art chosen to depict the scenes, characters and items are mostly accurate, but there may be some liberties taken that distract from the assignment. Scene constructions are neat, and meet basic expectations.
The art chosen to depict the scenes, characters and items is too limited or incomplete.
English Conventions
Ideas are organized. There are few or no grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Ideas are mostly organized. There are some grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors.
Storyboard text is difficult to understand.

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