Celebrate 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.

Native American Heritage Artifacts

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.

Native American Dioramas

Create Native American 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.

Student Made Native American Heritage Totem Pole

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.

Student Writing about Native American Heritage

Writing About Native American Life

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.

Native American Heritage Pop Up Books

Create Native American 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.  They are also a great way for students to display their learning during Native American Heritage month.

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 ideas for your Native American Unit, check out my post on Five Things to Remember When Teaching Your Native American Unit.

Eastern Woodland Native American Pop Up Book
Southwest Coast Pop Up Book

For more interesting ideas, check out the blogs below.

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month
Multicultural teaching, Social Studies
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  • Reply
    Deann Marin
    November 4, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2015 at 12:44 am

    Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Reply
    November 9, 2015 at 4:45 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Tamaralynn @tarheelstateteacher
    November 9, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Marcy Howe
    November 10, 2015 at 4:53 am

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

  • Reply
    Kathie @Tried and True Teaching Tools
    November 10, 2015 at 6:39 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Just Add Students
    November 14, 2015 at 5:20 pm

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

  • Reply
    William Braylen
    February 23, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    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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