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Native Americans are the people who were in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean Islands when Europeans arrived. Christopher Columbus was travelling west, so he thought he was going to India. This is why he called the people “Indians”. See the fact file below for more information about the Native Americans.
- The people who first lived in North America can be called “American Indians,” “Native Americans,” and “First Nations People”. It is not correct to use the terms such as “Red Indian” or “Redskin,” because this name originally referred to a specific tribe, the Beothuks, who painted their bodies and faces with red ochre.
- There were hundreds of Native American cultures, from coast to coast and from the Yukon to the Gulf of Mexico.
- All of the Native American tribes had some things in common. They lived off the land by gathering food in the earliest times and then planting crops later in history. Once they began planting crops, they were able to begin creating villages that were permanent.
- They all hunted and eventually domesticated animals. Most of the tribes used as much of the animal as they could. Meat was used for food. Furs and skins were used for clothing and shelters. The stomach was used to carry and hold water. Bones were used for needles and weapons.
- The most important Native American food crop was corn, or what they called maize. Other important American Indian crops included squash, potatoes, wild rice, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, pumpkins, sunflowers, peanuts, peppers, chocolate, and avocados.
- Native American tribes also had diets that included a lot of meat. These meats were: elk, buffalo, caribou, rabbit, deer, salmon, fish, ducks, turkeys, geese, pheasant, shellfish and other marine animals like whales and seal. Porcupines and snakes were also hunted as food. Native Americans ate honey, eggs, maple syrup, nuts, salt, pine nuts, cranberry, blueberries, raspberries, acorns, root vegetables and greens. Native American cooking tended to be simple. Most Native Americans preferred to eat their food very fresh, without many spices.
- All Native American people were very spiritual and they had many religious customs and rituals. They also had many gods. They believed in a special relationship with nature. For most, the Sun was the supreme god. They worshiped the sun because they needed it to grow their crops. They also needed rain, so many had a Rain god.
- Other elements in nature were also worshipped. Most tribes believed in the power of their dreams They were considered to be revelations made by the gods. Most had an important religious leader which some called Shaman, or medicine man.
- Native Americans did not know about the wheel, so they used travois to transport their goods while following the bison herds. A travois was made from two large branches joined to one end and diverging to the other. The travois was attached through harnesses to the back of a horse. It was dragged on the ground and cargo was place on the skins that was stretched across it. Before wild horses were domesticated, smaller travois were dragged by dogs.
- The roles men and women in most Native American tribes were the same. The men hunted and provided protection for their people. The women prepared the food, made clothing and shelters and cared for the children. The men used bows and arrows, spears and knives to hunt. They would also work together to move herds of animals into enclosures or off cliffs to kill them.
- Native Americans had many different kinds of shelters depending upon where they lived. Some used portable structures that could be moved to follow the bison herds. These structures were called the tipi. Some built homes out of logs. Others built homes from mud bricks they baked in the sun. Others even made their homes from blocks of ice.
- The Native American tribes began to diminish when white settlers began to move onto their lands. Native Americans were eventually moved onto lands called reservations. Many died from disease during these forced moves. These were terrible times for Native American people.
Native American Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Native American worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about this famous civilization in America. Students will learn about the roles of men and women, native american homes and native american medicine amongst other areas of history.
Throughout the extensive worksheet pack there are multiple lesson resources and quizzes for students to practice their knowledge which can be used within the classroom or homeschooling environment.
Included Native American worksheets:
What Do You See?
Students should use what they already know about Native American culture, tools, and customs to describe what you see in the pictures.
The Trail of Tears
Students are tasked to create a monument to commemorate the hardships that the Native Americans on the Trail of Tears suffered. They must draw a picture of the monument and write an inscription.
Native American Homes
Read and match task where students must match the type of homes with the specific Native american tribe/nation.
Totem Poles of the Pacific Northwest
Fantastic task on Native American Totem Poles. Students must use some of the symbols to design a totem pole that represents them. Creative task.
Native American Medicine
Full worksheet on Native American medicine. Students must read about some Native American medicines and choose which ones could help the sick people.
Native American Word Search
Using the included fact file, students will complete the word search based upon words associated with Native Americans.
The Ancient Mayans
Another standalone worksheet focusing on the Ancient Mayans. Students must study the Ancient Mayans and then write their name in Mayan hieroglyphics.
Assimilation at Native American Schools
Standalone study on the assimilation of Native American schools with a number of challenging questions for the students.
Tribes of the Plains and the Bison
Information worksheet on the importance of Bison. Students must then label the Bison using the clues provided.
Native American Fill in the Blank
Fill in the blanks worksheet based upon information from the fact worksheet.
After completing these worksheets students will be able to:
- Have a clear understanding about the history of the Native American tribes.
- Complete a number of quiz and fill in the blank activities to test their knowledge of the subject.
- Explain the importance of Bison to the Native American tribes and successfully label a Bison.
- Have a broad understanding of the Trail of tears and the significant importance on Native American history.
- Have an understanding of Native American shelters and how they adapted housing to deal with conditions.
- Be creative with use of Totem Pole symbols.
- Understand and successfully explain how Native Americans used natural sources for treatment of sick.
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. If you need Native American worksheets for your classroom, you can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.