Native Americans : Plains Indians


The Native American book History Pockets we are using as a springboard for our studies, has this map in the beginning where we glue the symbol for the tribe studied, when we are done.  It is exciting to see so many glued and studied.  I feel that we’ve learned lots.


The Ready-to-Use Activities and Materials on Plains Indians I also used for this block.


I had the one for the Coastal Indians when we studied them, and really liked the activities and informations it had to share. The same with this one. It was really helpful and fun.

DSC_0005-small DSC_0004-small(I love the “student’s” name…)

Since this past fall, we’ve studied the Inuits, The Tlingit, Maidu, Nez Perce and Sioux, specifically.  But that’s been only the beginning, because we have grouped them in their cultural regions and have expanded a lot more on them.


We thought we’d study these only, and maybe take about a week or so for each one.  And here we are, 4 months later.  We’ve enjoyed it all a lot more than I anticipated. It’s been fun to learn more in depth about these tribes and their cultures, and especially for me too, being from Chile, I’ve never studied American History before.  This has all been very fun for everyone.


We learned about stories told in drawings.  (I have another post specifically on that coming up.)

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Drawings.  A much easier way to communicate back then but also right now, sometimes feels that same way too.

DSC_0020-smallFor every tribe we studied, we learned about where they used to live and where the reservations are today.   The books in the series First Nations of North America, are recently published and have a comparison map that Siena always liked to look at.

DSC_0027-smallWe read about Red Cloud and Crazy Horse (Lucas’s favorite) and Sitting Bull, and of General George Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn.  And of course, we also talked about the movie Night at The Museum.

DSC_0008-smallWe also had long conversations about the importance of the Buffalo, or American Bison back then, and how they were  almost extinct by over hunting and slaughtering.

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We learned about the uses Native American had for every part of this amazing animal.  We learned to draw it, and name parts, and read many native american  stories about it (fiction and non-fiction)

DSC_020-smallWe talked about the different styles of teepees (tipis) from tribe to tribe in the Plains, and other dwellings they had.  These conversations were between us while we were reading about them or coloring pages, or between themselves playing, or when they had friends over and were sharing what they had learned in a way that was mostly play.  But it’s all connected, just as it is in real life, I believe.


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We made an ankle bracelet that was also turned into an arm bracelet and a bookmark.  And we had more playing with these geometric designs that I think we’ll keep doing.

DSC_0008-smallAll you need is graph paper, coloring pencils or markers, scissors and a string.  Lucas and Siena have been making string from artificial sinew, so we used that.

DSC_0004-smallYou make it about 2 inches by 6 or 7 inches long, depending on what you want to use it for.


Make your design, glue it to a piece of card stock or construction paper, make a line around it with a marker to make stand out, punch a hole (on either side if it’s a bracelet, or just one side if it’s a bookmark) and wear it or use it in your favorite book!


We also colored a lot.  Siena and Lucas have been enjoying coloring anything related to Native Americans.



We also wrote short stories about what we were studying and reading about. Drew pictures.  And mostly talked and retold stories.  We all learn in different ways, and we like them all.


We also made leather moccasins, but I’m doing a different post on that.  It was a lot of fun.

This is a list of the books in no specific order, that we used for this block (I think these are most of them, anyways):

And at the end, like all the other groups we’ve studied, Siena and Lucas made a book of all the projects and coloring and writing they have done about The Plains Indians.

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It’s fun to see at the end all what we have done.  It’s been the perfect spot for everything.


It’s been lots of fun.  We are taking a break from Native Americans right now and will study Ancient Egypt.  I’m not sure where the idea came to Siena, but however it did, Lucas is up for it too, and that’s the beauty of homeschooling.  This time we’ll go further away to visit new and distant places.  We’ll see where we go from here.  I’m excited!