Debbie's Class

Ages: 16-21 years old

April News from Debbie and Lynn’s Social Studies Class:

Since January, we have been doing fun and interesting things to help us learn about what life was like for Native Americans long ago.  We have been studying the 4 main geographic regions where the Native Americans lived.  The regions included the Northeast, Great Plains, Southwest and Northwest Coast.  The tribes we have learned about are the Iroquois, Sioux, Navajo and Tlingit.  We have been learning about the tribes heritage, customs and values.  The types of shelters they made and the kinds of food they ate based on the natural resources available to them in the region.

We have been locating the tribes and regions on maps and creating a picture dictionary of words and terms from the North American tribes. At the beginning of the unit each student selected their own Native American name.  For each of the regions we decorated pocket folders to hold our class work and projects.

Highlights of activities:

Iroquois of the Eastern Woodland:  Each class made delicious corn bread, paper canoes and wampum using white, purple and black beads.  For a special treat we had a Lacrosse presentation by a local high school Lacrosse coach and one of his players.

Sioux of the Plains:  We made beaded ankle bands, 3 dimensional teepees, sampled wasna (beef  jerky),  learned about the amazing buffalo and picture writing.  We made a beautiful star quilt, dream catchers and travois’s out of sticks.  During each class, with native American music in the background, we had a mock pow-wow with dancing around a fake campfire using bells and drums.

Navajo of the Southwest:  We designed a Navajo necklace, made Katchina dolls using toilet paper rolls,  created dry sand painting using colored sand, tasted fry bread (Naan bread) and wove paper mats.
Tlingit of the Northwest:  We will be learning about totem poles and creating life size totem poles     out of boxes.


In April, we will be taking our homeroom class on a field trip to New Pound Farm in Redding Ct.   New   Pound Farm is a learning center that offers a look into an important  Native American culture that inhabited the Eastern Woodlands for centuries.  We will see a thatched long house, barked wigwam and will learn about the daily activities of the Connecticut Indians.   The Native American museum offers a hands on experience full of artifacts and reproductions representing a variety of tribes.  The students will be able to sample traditional food of the region.  (corn bread, maple syrup, roasted seeds, dried berries and popcorn).

In conclusion, we will be completing a comparison chart of the Native American tribes we have been studying.  When the chart is complete, we will discuss  the similarities and differences between the clothing, food and shelter of the tribes.


Debbie and Lynn