Taíno Lesson Plan

THE TAINOS: Puerto Rico’s First People (excerpt)

Level: Grades 3-4
Subject: Social Studies, History


This unit provides a new perspective on the familiar story of the “discovery” of America. By examining the rich culture of the native inhabitants of these islands, students will understand the long-lasting consequences when cultures collide. Through art and writing assignments they will appreciate the contributions of cultures previously labeled as “primitive” and recognize the influences of the Taínos still felt today.


Students will:

  1. Become familiar with the Arawak culture present in the Caribbean prior to the Encounter.
  2. Learn Arawak vocabulary words, some of which are a part of English today.
  3. Discuss the positive and negative consequences of “discovery.”
  4. Compare and contrast their daily lives with Guanín’s.
  5. Discuss the use of symbols as communication.
  6. Create a “guanín” medallion using Taíno symbols.
  7. Write a continuation of the story incorporating Arawak vocabulary.

Taíno Lesson Plan © Exit Studio 1996. Lesson Plan may be used on an individual basis at no charge. However reproduction, redistribution, or resale is strictly prohibited. Complete plans are provided upon request with the purchase of related Exit Studio products necessary to conduct the lesson.

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