Ancient Americas - Field Museum

The Ancient Americas is a well-designed exhibit, walking through the broad history of many groups of people indigenous to the Americas. As with the Africa exhibit, talking about huge and varied societies is difficult, but it’s very well organized into broad eras of time, and highlights specific stories. This exhibit is particularly good for upper elementary and older.

Because it is oriented chronologically, you should enter from Stanley Field Hall (and thus visit this before Northwest Coast & Arctic Peoples or Native North American Hall. If you just visit one, make sure it's Ancient Americas, but the end of the exhibit is in a back corner of the Field Museum, so it leads naturally into the other two.

Although it covers a huge expanse, it is very logically organized into broad eras of human development: working from the ice age, into hunters and gatherers, then to farmers, the creation of villages, larger groups, and eventually empires. European conquest is mentioned briefly at the end. There are short movies along the exhibit that explain how peoples’ behavior changed and developed over time. I particularly like the section "Rulers and Citizens" about halfway in which discusses the creation of governments and cities.