Historical Scene Investigations

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How did Native American life differ in four different regions?

The case

Northwest Eastern Woodlands
Lakota Hogan

Native American cultures vary tremendously across North America, although all are shaped by the resources of the land in which they lived.

Your job is to explore how Native American food, clothing, shelter, and traditions were different in these four regions:

-Eastern Woodlands

-Plains

-Southwest

-Pacific Northwest Coast

Becoming a detective

Your teacher will read aloud different Native American legends, drawn from groups in different regions of North America.

Joseph Bruchac, The First Strawberries   Tomie dePaola, Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
First StrawberriesEastern Woodlands - Cherokee   Indian PaintbrushPlains
Veronika Martenova Charles, Maiden of the Mist   Tomie dePaola, Legend of the Bluebonnet
Maiden of the MistEastern Woodlands - Seneca

 

 

Legend of the BluebonnetSouthwest -
Comanche
Rafe Martin, The Rough-Face Girl   Jerrie Oughton, How the Stars
Fell Into the Sky
Rough Face GirlEastern Woodlands - Algonquin   How the Stars FellSouthwest -
Navajo
Joseph Bruchac, Thirteen Moons on Turtle's Back   Gerald McDermott, Raven: A Trickster
Tale from the Pacific Northwest
Thirteen MoonsFrom different groups and regions   RavenPacific Northwest

Your teacher will then introduce you to Indian groups native to each of the four regions. As you learn about the groups in each region, take notes on three pieces of information on each topic: food, clothing, shelter, and traditions.

Investigating the evidence

Working with two other students, you will select a region to explore in more depth.

Use the Student Research Guides or the links below for each of the regions to learn more from primary and secondary sources about the food, clothing, shelter, and traditions of different Native American groups.

You can also use this Learn About Native Americans site to explore the groups of each region.
The Native Languages site has a good section on different kinds of homes in different regions.

Pacific Northwest Southwest Plains Eastern Woodlands
About the region About the region About the region

About the region

Chilkat dancers, 1895 The Navajo What can you make from a buffalo?

 

Cooking fish, 1585

 

Drying salmon, 1915 Clothing Buffalo hide painting

Making a canoe, 1590

 

Fishing camp, 1904 Pueblo House family guide George Catlin paintings

Fishing, 158

 

Potlach gathering, 1895

Explore the Navajo Nation E-book on Plains Natives (PDF)

Cooking in a pot, 1585

 

Makah Day celebration, 1945 3-D reconstruction of a Pueblo kiva A Life in Beads: The Story a Plains Dress Can Tell (PDF)

Village of Pomeioc, 1585

Chief Shakes at home, 1907 Southwest culture Tipis: Early "Mobile Homes"

Photographs from Tapenum's Day

Food and housing Food, shelter, art (easy to read Rebus) PDF Lakota winter counts

Scenes from the Eastern Woodlands

Food: fishing and hunting

Navajo hogans Plains Indians - Saskatchewan

Wampanoag artifacts

Groups in this region Edward Curtis photographs Lakota and Dakota Sioux

Plimoth: Explore Wampanoag

Searching for clues

You will be creating a Jackdaw - a collection of "artifacts" and images - that represent these four aspects of the culture of the Native Americans in the region of North American you were assigned.

See the rubric for details about what is expected in this project.

Cracking the case

You will present your group project to the class and invite your peers to guess what region and group your Jackdaw displays.

To learn more

You might have the chance to visit the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, the Institute for American Indian Studies, or the Wampanoag Homesite at Plimoth Plantation (see video here).

 

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