Happy Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, and there are so many wonderful ways to learn about Native American heritage.  There are many museums throughout the country with authentic Native American exhibits.  One of my favorite exhibits is at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois.  My class visits the Pawnee earth lodge each year for an authentic hands on tour of a real Pawnee earth lodge.  Before and after our visit, we continue our studies of Native American heritage. Here are five great ways you can do the same in your classroom.  

  •      Use Drama - Have your students write out skits, or use reader's theater to recreate important moments in Native American history.  One fun thing to recreate would be members of the Navajo tribe creating a code which allowed the American army to successfully communicate across radio waves during World War II.

  •      Create Dioramas - After studying Native Americans, have students create visual representations of their favorite Native American group.  Students can then share their dioramas with the rest of the class.

  •       Totem Poles - Since Totem poles were originally similar to family crests, have students create their own telling their family's story.   I recently wrote a blog describing how to have your students make this totem pole, feel free to read it here.

  •       Writing - Have students write a story about what daily life was like for a tribe or group of Native Americans.  Have students write a story describing the family totem pole they designed in the above example.  There are so many creative writing ideas that go along with a Native American unit.

  • Create Pop Up Books - I love having my students create pop up books of our studies.  They are another engaging way for students to read and write more about their studies.

  • For More Fun Ideas, check out my full Native American Bundle that provides rich informational text to help students learn more about four different Native American groups.  The bundle also allows them to create these beautiful pop up books.  

For more interesting ideas, check out the blogs below.


  1. I'm so happy to see your wonderful post about Native Americans. We really forget that they were here a long time before we were. I just love your totem pole idea. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Wow! I love all of your ideas teaching about Native Americans. I like how your ideas, especially the totem poles and pop up books incorporate art too. The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois sounds very exciting!

  3. I love all of the opportunities for art integration in these ideas! Perfect for this time of year or for when were are teaching about the first peoples of our states!

  4. Thank you for sharing your creative ideas. I love the pop-up books.

  5. Wow; so many great ideas! I did not know November is Native American Heritage Month, but it fits in perfectly with our California missions unit & the role Native Americans played at the missions! Thanks!

  6. I love the class totem pole idea. Lots of wonderful ideas!

  7. The distinction between these two tents names lies essentially in where you will discover them. Wickiup is for the most part used to name Native American tents found in the American Southwest and West while wigwam is utilized to mark Native American tents found in the American Northeast. http://www.mordocrosswords.com/2016/02/native-american-group.html



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