Kennewick Man: Science and Sacred Rights

This lesson plan introduces students to a controversial case study about the relationship between science and religion, as well as Native American culture.  It also involves analysis of arguments. This lesson plan addresses some controversial issues.  Teachers should preview the lesson carefully and decide of it is appropriate for their classrooms.  This is an advanced lesson that touches on reading, writing, logic, and cross-curricular ties between English, science, and social studies.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3003.5.1
Use logic to make inferences and draw conclusions in a variety of complex oral and written contexts.
CLE 3003.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3003.5.4
Analyze the logical features of an argument.
CLE 3003.6.1
Comprehend and summarize the main ideas of complex informational texts and determine the essential elements that elaborate them.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 

Archeologists and other scientists whose work involves native peoples have made cooperation—not confrontation—their goal in research. For examples of such cooperation in action, see the "Yup'ik Masks" exhibit at the Arctic Studies Center website, as well as research reports on "DNA and the Peopling of Siberia" and on the recovery of the body of an Alaskan native girl who died more than 700 years ago ("Dear Young Girl"). This website also provides access to the ethical guidelines developed for research among native peoples. (At the website's homepage, click on "Yup'ik Masks" for the exhibit. To access the research reports, click on "Arctic Social Sciences" in the righthand margin of the homepage, then select "DNA and the Peopling of Siberia," or "Dear Young Girl," or "Ethics.") To explore religious rights in another context, visit the "Oyez Religion" in the scroll box. Scroll down to find "Lyng v. Northwest Indian CPA [1987]." )