This year, we are studying Early Modern History via Story of the World Volume 3. Before we jump into the early colonies in America, I thought it would be appropriate to revisit the Native American Homes unit I first did with Raisin four years ago. Has it been that long?
I first wrote the booklet about early Native American homes because I could not find something simple for a brief introduction to Native Americans for my son. I wanted him to understand that there was a variety of cultures living on the American continent before Europeans arrived. I wanted him to understand that the vastness of the country meant that not every American Indian lived in a tipi. The various landscapes of America meant that the various groups of people also lived very differently.
As I said, I could not find an appropriate picture book for my son back then that shared that kind of information. So I wrote one with the information I wanted to share.
To go along with the booklet, I created some printable pages for an introductory research project (for older kids) and comprehension (for the most basic approach to the subject). I think it turned out so beautiful in the end.
This year, Raisin is in third grade, so reading the booklet, completing the comprehension questions, and writing a little about the Native American homes was definitely right at his level.
But, I also realized that kindergartners did not read and write at that level. My son was a strong reader, but he was not (and still is not!) a strong writer. I made a younger version, which covers just five homes and provides pages with a simple sentence, the name of the home to trace in print, and images to paste on the page for the type of home mentioned.
Strawberry, at age 3, is a bit too young for the full-length booklet. I shared the lower level read, trace, and paste pages for her. Even those were a bit too difficult for her (they are intended for kindergartners), but with my help, she loved gluing and matching activities!
How do you study the Native Americans in your classroom or homeschool? Do you do a unit like this in the autumn, before Thanksgiving?