Lesson Plans for Teaching Reading With
a Native American Theme

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Day 1 - Inuit

Vocabulary Word of the Day

amulet -An object worn, especially around the neck, as a charm against evil or injury; good luck charm

There came a day when Mattak went on a hunt and forgot his lucky amulet, a bit of ivory carved like a raven's foot.

AMULETS

Images for Vocabulary Cards

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Show the map of North America. Point out where the Inuit people live. Discuss the climate in this region of the world. What animals live here? What did the people eat that lived in this area 200 years ago? (Sea very important) How did they keep warm? What type of houses did they live in?

Activity  - Then and Now (Multicultural Folk Tales by Teacher Created Materials, Inc. - Page 38)

Explain that the students are going to read a folk tale. Explain what a folk tale is using Multicultural Folk Tales by Teacher Created Materials, Inc. - Page 70. Then read to the students Song of Sedna. Students complete the remainder of page 70 "Folk Tale Record Sheet" after reading. (Revised sheet here.)- Take AR Test

Sequencing Activity (Multicultural Folk Tales by Teacher Created Materials, Inc. - Page 29)

Activity - Make amulet.

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Day 2  - Inuit

Vocabulary Word of the Day

igloo An Inuit or Eskimo dwelling, especially a dome-shaped winter dwelling built of blocks of packed snow

Permanent home were made of stone and earth. They were built partially underground. Whale ribs sometimes supported the roof. Temporary winter hunting lodges called igloos were made from snow and ice. The Inuit formed a circular foundation of ice blocks. They stacked smaller blocks to create a dome at the top. A small hole was left for ventilation. Gaps in the ice blocks were filled with soft snow and the inside was lined with furs.

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Using the snow knife she had brought with her, Sedna showed her husband how to carve out heavy blocks of ice and build a proper igloo.

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Students read Song of Sedna Readers' Theater (Multicultural Folk Tales by Teacher Created Materials, Inc. - Pages 30-33)

Art Activity - Sugar Cube Igloo (Multicultural Folk Tales by Teacher Created Materials, Inc. - Page 60)

 

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Day 3 - Northwest Coastal Indians

Vocabulary Word of the Day

plank a heavy thick board, flat timber, piece of wood

Most villages consisted of large rectangular houses. Each housed 30 to 40 people. They were made by covering large beams with planked sides gabled in the north. The posts were often decorated with carved figures. The earth floors were divided by woven mats into family units. Several families lived in one of these large structures. Each family was allowed a space about the size of a barn stall. Each family had its own fire, but cookfires in the center of the building were shared. Farther south the homes had low conical roofs. In the north sweat houses were built for both men and women, and for men only in the south. Large totem poles carved from tree trunks stood in front of the homes. The totem poles showed the titles of the head of the household.

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Highlight on US Map where the Makah live. Discuss the climate in this region of the world. What animals live here? What did the people eat that lived in this area 200 years ago?  What type of houses did they live in? Look at drawings in folder (2 pages)

Read Clamshell Boy - Take AR Test

Read - The Storytelling Totem Poles (Native Americans by Instructional Fair  -  Page 27)

Make totem poles.

 

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Day 4  - Plains Indians

Highlight on US Map where the Plains tribes live. Discuss the climate in this region of the world. What animals live here? What did the people eat that lived in this area 200 years ago?  How did they keep warm? What type of houses did they live in? Look at drawings in folder (2 pages)

Vocabulary Word of the Day

roam - To move about without purpose or plan; wander, stray

He told her that he was the leader of all the wild horses who roamed the hills.

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Reading Rainbow - The Gift of the Sacred Dog (30 minutes) - Take AR Test
A powerful, strikingly illustrated folk tale and Native American legend, about a boy who brought the gift of horses to his people and the significance of the horse to the Plains Indian.
LeVar visits the Crow Agency in Montana and observes a special ceremony of the Old Elk family. He shows viewers how contemporary and traditional Native American life and traditions meet. Viewers also learn that some words we use have Native American roots.

Read The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses (book with audio) - Take AR Test

Activity - These books are book written and illustrated by Paul Goble. Have students compare and contrast the two books. Have students look at the sun at the beginning and end of The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses and in the middle of The Gift of the Sacred Dog. If time allows have students draw a sun with the narrow triangle rays similar to the ones in the books.

 

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Day 5  - Plains Indians

Vocabulary Word of the Day

teepee

tipi

To build the teepee the women took long poles and stuck them in the ground in the form of a circle. They leaned the poles together at the top. The poles were fastened with hides. The poles were covered with buffalo hides.  Two longer poles were attached to the top corners. The were used to remove the smoke from the fire. The teepee opening always faced east. The outside of the teepee was decorated with paintings of animals, stars, or other objects. The Plains Indians had little furniture. Their beds were made from buffalo robes, skins with the hair left on. They also had back rests. Food, clothes, and belongings were stored in parfleches. A parfleche was a strong pouch made of buffalo hide.

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Read Sitting Bull - Take AR Test

Activity  -  Make tepees from felt. Decorate with paint. - See Native Americans by Instructional Fair, Inc. pages 35-36
Discuss and show pictures of various Indian homes. Discuss the reasons for different types of Indian homes. Then show pictures of various tepees. Tell how a tepee door always faced east so that the wind blew against the back of the tepee and so that the rising sun could wake and warm the sleeping family when the flap was left open. Tepees were made from buffalo skin and held up by poles. Tepees could be made from 10-40 hides and were made, set up, and taken down by Indian women.

 

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Day 6  - Plains Indians

Vocabulary Words of the Day

parfleche An untanned animal hide soaked in lye and water to remove the hair and then dried on a stretcher; used by the Plains Indians to carry their possessions; a folded bag used to carry things, made from the hide of an animal

Page 6  -  When she finished the garment, she tied all the pieces together in a parfleche decorated to match.

Page 8 She bundled clothing for herself around her quilling needles and filled her parfleche with food stores she'd been putting aside.

Page 14 Quillworker untied the parfleches from the travois and sent the dogs back to her mother.

quill The hollow stemlike main shaft of a feather; One of the sharp hollow spines of a porcupine or hedgehog.

Quillworker Page 6 - The design was magnificent, with each color of quills radiating from another.

QUILLWORK
a form of embroidery using porcupine quills; the quills were used to decorate clothing, pouches and birchbark boxes and baskets

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Read Quillworker:  A Cheyenne Legend - Take AR Test

Inside a Tepee! (Native Americans by Instructional Fair, Inc. page 37) - Following Directions/Problem Solving

Students make a parfleche. Use colored toothpicks and glue onto the flap to emulate a quill pattern

Parfleche parfleshe.JPG (21223 bytes)

Background Information
A parfleche was used by the Plains Indians to carry their possessions. It was made from a buffalo hide. The hide was cut into a large rectangular shape. Belongings were placed on the center of the hide. Next the hide was folded like and envelope and tied with rawhide straps. The parfleche was made water proof by covering it with a glue made by boiling the tails of  beavers.

 

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Day 7  - Plains Indians

Vocabulary Word of the Day

scout - To spy on or explore carefully in order to obtain information

Page 14 - Grandfather chose six braves to be scouts.

Read Little Hawk's New Name- Take AR Test

Finish parfleche.

 

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Day 8  -  Plains Indians and Southwest

Vocabulary Word of the Day

buckskin - A soft strong leather, usually yellowish or grayish in color, made of deerskin.

"Find a buckskin as white as this," she told him.

Little Gopher looked at the white buckskin and on it he saw colors as bright and beautiful al those made by the setting sun.

Many months ago, he had found his pure white buckskin, but it remained empty because he could not find the colors of the sunset.

Tomorrow take the white buckskin and go to the place where you watch the sun in the evening.

Little Gopher gazed at the white buckskin and he was happy.

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Reading Rainbow - The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush (30 minutes) - Take AR Test
A Native American story of Little Gopher following his destiny, as revealed in a Dream-Vision of becoming an artist for his people and bringing the colors of the sunset down to the earth.

LeVar visits the Pueblo Indian people of Taos, New Mexico where Mother Earth plays a crucial role in their art. He interviews a painter, a family of pottery makers, and a family of dancers. Each explains the traditions behind their art and the Native American culture.

Take quiz
(Includes main character, setting, problem, & comprehension)

Read The Legend of Bluebonnet - Compare and contrast The Legend of Bluebonnet to The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

Read "A Secret Indian Story" from Indian Crafts and Activity Book page 12.

Activity - Make a buckskin painting - On felt have students create a painting similar to the ones in The Legend of the Indian paintbrush. "Southwest Symbols" in Native Americans by Instructional Fair, Inc. page 23 OR "A Picture Story" by Native Americans by Teacher Created Materials, Inc. pages 31-32

 

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Day 9  -  Southwest Indians (Pueblo)

Highlight on US Map where the Pueblo and Papago live. Discuss the climate in this region of the world. What animals live here? What did the people eat that lived in this area 200 years ago?  What type of houses did they live in? Look at drawings in folder (2 pages)

Vocabulary Word of the Day

pueblo the communal dwelling of an Indian village of Arizona, New Mexico, and neighboring areas consisting of   flat-roofed stone or adobe houses in groups sometimes several stories high pueblo3.gif (4628 bytes)

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Read Arrow to the Sun - Take AR Test

Read The Desert is Theirs - Take AR Test

Activity - Make Kachina masks or dolls.

Kachina Doll

kachina.jpg (5268 bytes)      kachina1.JPG (9348 bytes)

Background Information
The Pueblo thought Kachinas were ancestral spirits who returned with the clouds and rain to help their people. Over 300 different Kachinas were believed to exist. Pueblo Indians believed that these spirits once lived among the people, but they became offended when not enough attention was paid to them. Before leaving the Kachinas taught their people to dance. Pueblo held religious festivals and ceremonies in which they asked the Kachinas to bring rain and make their crops grow. They used drums and rattles in the dances during the ceremonies. They often danced in masks and chanted. When a boy turned 13, he was invited to the kiva where the identity of the Kachinas was revealed to him. Girls were not brought to the kiva, but they were also told the secret of the Kachina.

Directions for a Wooden Spool Doll
For each doll purchase:

  1. Using a glue gun, glue the two 1 ½ by 5/8 inch spools together to form the body. Glue the ½ by 5/8 inch spool to the bottom of the body to form the legs. Next glue the two 3/16 by 7/8 inch spools in the arm positions. Add the 3/4 inch ball to the top to form the head.
  2. Decorate the doll with magic markers.
  3. Glue feathers, foam craft shapes, and odds and ends to add the finishing touches.
Masks kachinamask2.JPG (5188 bytes)     kachinamask3.JPG (6218 bytes)     kachinamask4.JPG (5200 bytes)
kachinamask5.JPG (4508 bytes)     kachinamask6.JPG (4506 bytes)

Directions for masks

  1. Have each student draw a mask pattern onto a piece of paper by folding a piece of 8 ½ by 11 inch piece of paper in half and drawing half a face. Cut the pattern out.
  2. Unfold the pattern and trace it onto a 8 3/4 by 11 3/4 inch sheet of Foamies Fun Foam.
  3. Cut of the Fun Foam with regular scissors. Be sure to cut eye slits, nose holes, and a small hole on each side of the mask for a string to hold the mask into place.
  4. Decorate the mask with Foamies Fun Foam Cutouts, feathers, beads, and other interesting objects.
  5. Insert a twenty inch piece of string on each side of the mask into the hole that was cut earlier.
  6. The mask may be worn by tying the two pieces of string around the head.

Activity - Make painting using colored glue on black paper.

 

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Day 10 -  Southwest Indians (Navajo)

Highlight on US Map where the Navajo Indians live. Discuss the climate in this region of the world. What animals live here? What did the people eat that lived in this area 200 years ago?  What type of houses did they live in? Look at drawings in folder (2 pages)

Vocabulary Word of the Day

hogan a Navajo Indian dwelling usually made of logs and mud with a door traditionally facing east navajohogan.gif (6883 bytes)

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Read Annie and the Old One

Annie and the Old One "A Family Affair" from The Mailbox, Primary, Oct/Nov 1992

Annie and the Old One "Remembering the Reasons" from The Mailbox, Primary, Oct/Nov 1992

Activity - Make weaving

 

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Day 11 -  Southwest Indians

Vocabulary Word of the Day

loom An tool used for making thread or yarn into cloth by weaving strands together at right angles; a frame on which weaving is done [JPG picture, 16k]

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Read Annie and the Old One - Take AR Test

Annie and the Old One - Sequencing Strips

Activity - Finish weaving

 

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Day 12 - Eastern Woodlands (Seminole)

Highlight on US Map where the Seminole live. Discuss the climate in this region of the world. What animals live here? What did the people eat that lived in this area 200 years ago?  What type of houses did they live in? Look at drawings in folder (2 pages)

Vocabulary Word of the Day

chickee a Seminole dwelling usually made of logs and grass with open sides and a raised floor chickee.gif (3253 bytes)

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Reading Rainbow - And Still the Turtle Watched (Show book part only.) - Take AR Test
A turtle carved in rock many years ago by Native Americans watches the river below. In the span of time it observes many ecological changes with a great deal of sadness.

Read Dancing with the Indians (book with audio) - Take AR Test

Tell and Draw Stories from Native Americans by Teacher Created Materials, Inc. page 48-59.

Activity -

Drum drum.jpg (9439 bytes)

Directions

  1. Gather the following materials:
  2. Wrap a piece of felt around the salt container. Glue this felt into place.
  3. Cut two pieces of felt in a waving zig-zagged circle pattern to look like a piece of deer skin. The circles must be approximately 1/2 to 1 inch bigger in diameter than the top of the salt container.Glue one circle to the top and the other to the bottom of the salt container.
  4. Cut a small hole in each of the longer zig-zags of  the circle pieces of felt which have been glued to the top and bottom of the salt container.
  5. Weave yarn through the holes in the felt going from the  top to  the bottom of the drum each time.
  6. Decorate the drum with feathers.

 

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Day 13 -Northeast Woodlands

Highlight on US Map where the Algonquian and Iroquois live. Discuss the climate in this region of the world. What animals live here? What did the people eat that lived in this area 200 years ago?  What type of houses did they live in? Look at drawings in folder (2 pages)

Vocabulary Word of the Day

dreamcatcher a Native American craftwork consisting of a small hoop covered with string, yarn, or horsehair mesh and decorated with feathers and beads and believed to give its owner good dreams

Background Information
The Algonquian Indians hung dreamcatchers from cradleboards to protect their babies. They believed that the dreamcatcher would catch bad dreams and allow good dreams to pass through the web.

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Reading Rainbow Knots on a Counting Rope (Show book part only.) - Take AR Test
A Native American tale about Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses and his grandfather reminiscing about the boy’s birth, his first horse, and his first horse race where he faces his greatest challenge—his blindness.

Read Dreamcatcher - Take AR Test

Make dreamcatchers.

 

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Day 14 - Northeast Woodlands (Iroquois)

Vocabulary Word of the Day

longhouse
A long communal dwelling, especially of the Iroquois, typically built of poles and bark and having a central corridor with family compartments on either side.

The longhouse was large enough to hold a family of 30 to 60 people. It could be 25 to 150 feet long. The longhouse was built by driving two rows of poles into the ground in zigzag lines ten or twelve feet apart. The poles were tied together a the top. Other poles were fastened across them. Next slabs of bark were tied to cover the poles. An open space was left at the top for smoke to escape. A door was built at the end of the long house. The door was covered with a curtain made from animal skins. Inside the longhouse a wide path ran though the center. Each family had a space about six by nine feet for a personal area. The family space was separated from the rest on the longhouse by leather curtains. In the personal space a seat was built against the wall. Clothes and tools were stored under the seat. The seat was also used as a bed. The bed was covered with corn husk mats and then skins and furs.

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Reading Rainbow - Giving Thanks:  A Native American Good Morning Message (Show book part only.) - Take AR Test
The feature book is a prayer of the Iroquois Indians celebrating the precious and rare gift of the natural world — and the resources of the earth. On a fall day, LeVar stops to express appreciation for the gifts of the earth.

Read - Little Runner of the Longhouse

Activity - Finish dreamcatchers.

 

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Day 15 -  Northeast Woodlands (Pocahontas)

Vocabulary Word of the Day

portrait - A likeness of a person, especially one showing the face, that is created by a painter or photographer

While she was in London, Pocahontas" portrait was painted by an artist.

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Reader's Theater - Pocahontas

Story Map - Teacher Created Materials, Inc. Page 21

Story Summary Sentence Strips - Teacher Created Materials, Inc. Pages 12 - 13

Pocahontas Game  - Teacher Created Materials, Inc. Pages 42 - 46 (2 games made)

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Day 16

Vocabulary Word of the Day

toil

Page 6

When work and toil are done,
Gather all together,
Turn three worlds into one.

toil  -  to labor continuously; work strenuously.

Find six words that mean the same as toil.

labor ease work be lazy exertion nine-to-five
relax idle plug away slave dawdle putter

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Read Thanksgiving on Thursday - Take AR Test

Have Thanksgiving dinner.