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Nebraska Trailblazer
#1: American Indians
Suggested Activities

General Activities:

1. Use KWL charts (columns of "what do you know," "what do you want to learn," and "what have you learned") to direct the learning.

2. Color the coloring page and discuss the earthlodge's attributes and use. Use Resource Sheet 1 for an overhead transparency or to make coloring page copies for your students.

3. Pupils make paper moccasins using the pattern (Resource Sheet 2). Pupils may decorate their moccasins using crayons, beads, and noodles.

4. Pupils recreate an American Indian beadwork design using the patterns (Resource Sheet 3) and their choice of medium: crayon, beads, colored popcorn, small squares of construction paper.

5. Pupils write a paragraph about what they have learned about American Indians.

Map Activities:

1. Using Resource Sheet 4 pupils cut out the pictures of the American Indian chiefs and paste them in the general area of their tribe on the Nebraska Trailblazer map.

2. Using a Nebraska state road map, pupils locate the five Indian reservations and mark their location on the Nebraska Trailblazer map. The five Indian reservations are: the Iowa, the Sac and Fox, the Omaha, the Winnebago, and the Santee.

Research Activities:

1. Research five or six tribes to find out which were hunters and which were farmers. Pupils make posters to illustrate the difference in lifestyles.

2. Using the American Indian chiefs featured in the Nebraska Trailblazer as a starting point, students create a poster researching each of the five or six tribes. Poster could include information about housing, food, games, legends, and clothing.

3. Using the Nebraska Trailblazer map and a book entitled Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico by Frederick Webb Hodge (this book should be available at your local library or through interlibrary loan and the 1910 edition is the best for this project), pupils can research meaning of the Nebraska town, river, and county names derived from American Indian words. Specifically, pupils can search for the tribe from which the word came and the meaning of the word to the American Indians. Pupils could record their findings on the Nebraska Trailblazer map. In this activity, it is important that the pupils understand that the Euro-American words for the various Nebraska locations are based on spoken sounds they thought they heard American Indians say, not written words of the American Indians.

Hodge, Frederick Webb, ed. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Smithsonian Institution. Series: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30. Washington: Govt. Print. Off., 1910.


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Last updated 15 December 1998

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