Ohlone Mix and Match

Subject: People use natural resources to survive. The Ohlone culture used many native plants and animals.

Duration: 20-30 minutes

5E: Explore and Explain

Group Size: Individual

NGSS Performance Standard- 3-5-ETS1-1 Define a simple design problem reflecting the need or want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost

Disciplinary Core Idea: ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems- Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria). Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each takes the constraints into account.

Cross-Cutting Concepts: Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World- People’s needs and wants change over time, as do their demands for new and improved technologies.

Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems- Asking questions and defining problems in 3–5 builds on grades K–2 experiences and progresses to specifying qualitative relationships.

Common Core: HSS-3.1.2 Students trace the ways in which people have used the resources of the local region and modified the physical environment.

Learning Objective: The Ohlone were stewards of their natural resources and responsibly used them to survive. Students will learn about natural resources the Ohlone culture used to survive using an interactive matching game. Students will then reflect on how we still rely on natural resources today.

Method: Students use a set of natural resource cards to learn about materials used by the Ohlone people. Using their knowledge, students will match the resource to the artifacts that they can make. Students can check their answers by flipping over the artifact cards to reveal what each artifact is made from. At the end of the game the teacher will lead a post-discussion about how people rely on natural resources today.

Materials: 8 Natural Resource Cards and 12 Artifact Cards

Preparation: Print out cards. Cut out the natural resource cards. Cut out artifact cards and fold down the middle so that one side is an image and the other side is information. You can use tape or glue to keep both sides together.


  1. Tell students “The Ohlone understood nature and responsibly stewarded resources for their survival. Do you know what it means to be a steward of nature?... To be a steward is to take care of something. To be a steward of nature you first must understand nature and then you can learn how to care for it and preserve it for the future. In the past and today people have depended on natural resources to survive. Today we are going to learn about natural resources that were important to the Ohlone.”
  2. Tell students “Look at the natural resource cards first and read the information about each item. Then use the image side of the artifact cards to best match the natural resource with the artifact the Ohlone would have made with it. It is okay for a natural resource to be matched with more than one artifact.”
  3. Once students have finished matching tell them “Now you can flip over the artifact card to read the facts and check your answers.”
  4. Post Discussion Questions
    1. Do you think Ohlone would have been able to make these same items if they lived in a different country such as Australia? Would the same natural resources be available in other countries?
    2. Which of the natural resources in the matching game are important to you?
    3. What natural resources do you rely on today? Do those resources come from near or far away?
    4. What is one thing you can do in your daily life to be a steward of nature?