Native American Unit Study

Last school year we enjoyed a unit study on Native Americans or First Peoples.  While I didn’t have a day by day schedule for our unit study we did enjoy lots of resources and activities.

Books I read aloud to them:

Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears   This is a story of a girl and her family as they were forced to move.  I highly recommend this book.

North American Indian Tales (Dover Children’s Thrift Classics)  This is a collection of various tales.  I don’t recommend them unless you have an older child.  They were a little too complex for my boys who were five and six at the time.

While I read to my boys they enjoyed coloring in their Indian Tribes of North America Coloring Books.

Reading Books:  My older son read these books to me for his reading.

Little Runner of the Longhouse (I Can Read Book 2)  This is a wonderful story of a little boy who lives in a longhouse and tries to figure out how he can get more maple sugar candy.

Soft Step and Bright Eyes: A Tale of Native American Life (No. 4 in Suzanne Tate’s History Series)
This is a short book with pictures

The Sign of the Beaver. This is a chapter book without pictures.  I didn’t use this for my unit study, but my son used it as a reading book later in the school year.  It is probably a fourth or fifth grade reading level.  It would make a great read aloud book too.


The book More Than Moccasins: A Kid’s Activity Guide to Traditional North American Indian Life (A Kid’s Guide series) is a necessity if you are studying Native Americans.  It is full of art and craft actvities as well as information.  Most of our time studying Native Americans was spent in this book.  We made tepees, wigwams, wampum, clothing, anklets, armbands, headdresses, food, and more!

We made a Northwest Coast Punch-Out Indian Village (Punch-Out Paper Toys).  The punch-out kit made a canoe, totems, people figures, and a longhouse.


Here are a few pictures showing some of our activities for our Native American unit study.

Here we learned about different colors of paint and designs and what they could mean.  The boys chose the colors they wanted on their face.

We made paper mache rattle instruments to be used during dancing.  After the paper mache had dried the boys painted them.

We made headdresses out of cereal boxes, feathers, paper, and little cotton balls.

They made something for the baby too.

At the end of our study we had a feast.  Here my son is helping make fry bread.  Fry bread was dough fried with some sugar on top.

Before our feast day we had prepared Native American costumes.  The breechcloth is made of a long piece of material tied on with a string.  They had shorts on underneath though.

Here we are enjoying our feast.  We had three different kinds of popcorn, toasted seeds, eggs, fry bread, raisins, and maple sugar candy.  It was a hit!

After the feast the boys danced with their instruments they made.

Following the dancing we played a couple of Native American games.  Here we are playing a game with decorated popsicle sticks.

To finish off our feast day and unit study of Native Americans we had foot races.  It was winter so we had foot races inside.

We found ideas and information for the activities pictured from  More Than Moccasins: A Kid’s Activity Guide to Traditional North American Indian Life (A Kid’s Guide series).


  1. Looks like fun! I’d live for you to link up at my Native American link up

  2. Pingback: Designing a Unit Study for History, Geography, or Science - Eclectic Homeschooling

  3. Very cute! Thanks for sharing!

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