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A Journey to a New Land

First people
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Elementary Level Resources

Elementary Level Teachers' Resources

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Introduction to the Website

This purpose of this website is to examine and explore the issues around the first arrival of humans in the Americas. Both the timing of that initial entry and the route taken by the first arrivals is unknown and is the subject of a great deal of research and debate.

We do know, however, that when people first arrived sometime before 11,500 years ago, North America looked very different than it does today. The climate was much colder, and a variety of now-extinct animals roamed the land.

The Elementary section is designed to introduce our younger audience to several concepts:

  • There was another time, long ago, long before living memory.
  • The world was in the grip of an ice age; it was very cold and the land looked much different than it does today.
  • Different animals lived in that time

These concepts are presented through a maze game and a set of jigsaw puzzles, designed to be used directly by the students, with context and background information provided by parents or teachers.

Ice Age Challenge Game

This is a 2D adventure game where students venture through terrain and obstacles typical of the Ice Age landscape. Students go through five levels, which are either land or sea routes. All five levels have to be completed to get the reward: desktop wallpaper images, not available anywhere else on the site. Players can draw maps of the levels, or memorize the correct route or steps to go through the levels much faster next time they play. There are fun surprises along the way!

Jigsaw Puzzles

The three jigsaw puzzle illustrations depict the ice age environment. Students can time their progress as they complete the puzzles.


Learning Objectives:

  • to encourage creative thinking
  • to consider the range of factors that might have contributed to the migration of people from Asia to North America


1. View the Flash Introduction to the website with the students.

2. Discuss the images and concepts portrayed in the flash intro:

  • This journey took place a very long time ago (more than 11,000 years ago)
  • The climate was very different at that time
  • The land was populated with a variety of large animals that are no longer living today
  • People were moving to North America from Asia. What reasons might they have had for doing that?

3. Ask the students to write a story about the flash introduction. Their stories might include:

  • Who are the people in the introduction?
  • Where did they come from?
  • Where are they going?
  • What kinds of houses do they live in?
  • What do they eat?
  • What kinds of animals might they meet on their travels?