Native Americans: Social Studies Lessons & Activities

Super Teacher Ideas Science Activities: Native American Social Studies Activities
Activities & Lesson Ideas
Native American Lessons and Activities
Guide to Getting a Teaching Job

Looking for a Teaching Job?  This eBook can help!  Interview Questions and Answers, Resume and Cover Letter Help, and more!
Super Teacher Ideas
Native American Museums
Submitted by Emily in North Carolina
Fourth Grade Teacher

To learn about the different native American tribes in our state, we set up three classrooms to be museums showcasing a particular tribe native to our state. Within each class, students were grouped based on their interests into different aspects of the tribe. For example, one class was divided into food, clothing, town, and activities. The teacher provided books, appropriate websites, and information for each group.

The groups were given two days to prepare their exhibits and props. Each created a science fair board and props such as models of a typical town, a special food, a life size model of a woman and man dressed in traditional clothing, and crafts. They also created two questions for their exhibit to be included on the test.

The students rotated through each of the three classroom where students presented their exhibits. Each student carried a clipboard and graphic organizer to take note of the most important information.

Students are extremely engaged and empowered in this activity. They learn so much more than by reading about tribes in their text book. They love seeing their own questions on the test as well!!

Native American Museums
Submitted by Nichole in Louisiana
5th Grade Teacher

During our lessons on the different Native American tribes, I have students choose a project and their favorite tribe. They all must go onto the internet to research more about their chosen tribe. They must be able to tell the following: common foods, religious beliefs, nomadic or stationary, roles of citizens, types of clothing and lodging.
They can choose to present their information in the following ways: poster w/ at least 2 graphics, powerpoint presentation, essay w/ the addition of a graphic, an artistic rendering of some aspect of tribal life (for ex, one student made a buffalo from clay and had to explain that the buffalo contributed to the Plains Indians and another student made a totem pole from toilet paper tubes to represent Northwestern tribal culture) along with an oral report, a song/rap about their tribe or a poem about their tribe. I use a rubric to grade each project. The only requirements are information must be presented to the class (not just me) and include the elements previously mentioned.

This project is the culminating activity at the end of our unit about Native Americans. It takes about a week for everyone to complete their projects.

I do allow partnerships when learning levels are significantly different but each person is responsible for the completed project.

Native American Unit
Submitted by Valerie in Connecticut
Third Grade Teacher

1. The class is divided into U.S. Geographical groups.

2. Students are assigned a Native American Tribe.

3. They are given various resources to research their projects
including encyclopedias, Native American Tribe books, and

4. The students are given a Tribal Chart* to complete.

5. The students are to do one 3-D display depicting something
from their tribe.

5. When the Tribal Charts are finished (usually 2-3 weeks), the
class meets as a whole and each tribal information is
presented, then displayed in the hallway or the library.

* Tribal chart: geographical location, habitat, shelter. clothing,
food, tools, weapons, customs, arts & crafts

Native American Flip Book
Submitted by Kathy in Kentucky
Fourth - Fifth Grade Teacher

Native American Flip Book - This is a lesson to help students become more familiar with different Native American tribes. You cut six pieces, of 6 different colors, of construction paper. The longest piece is 9 inches long, then you cut the next piece an inch shorter, and so on until you have cut all six pieces. ( 9,8,7,6,5,4) Now cut six sheets of white paper and inch shorter than each of the colored sheets, ( 8,7,6,5,4,3) Let the kids glue the white sheets on the colored. Then write the specific area of research on the inch of colored paper that is layered so the book is indexed. You then start researching your tribe and put the information on each respective sheet. The teacher may want to list the things they are to include such as: foods, religion, homes, geographical region, etc... They can draw illustrations where appropriate, such as the home and foods,region,and dress. This is a fun way for kids to learn more about native Americans and then share their books. This activity is very good for differentiation.

Super Teacher Ideas - Social Studies - Native Americans