The Plains Indians

Katie Bonine
3rd Grade


The purpose of these lessons is to help students have a better understanding of another culture other than their own. This will help them to see that there were other people living in this region before us. Students will have to use their own individual creativeness to do most of these activities. Not only will they be doing individual work, but they will also have to work with other peers to get their activities done. This will promote working together.

Connection To The National Geography Standards:

No.1 Knows and understands how to use maps, globes, and other graphical tools to acquire, process, and report information. This will help students learn how to read maps.
No. 6 Knows and understands that culture and experience influence people’s perception of places and experience. This will help students understand why people in other regions do different things.
No. 9 Knows and understands the characteristics, distribution, and migration of the human populations. This will help students understand the pushing and forcing the Plains Indians on reservations.
No. 17 Knows and understands how to apply geography to the past. This will help students understand that we wanted the Plains Indian’s land.

Applicable Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills:

*The students uses geographic tools to collect, analyze and interpret data.
The student is expected to:
*Apply geographic tools including grid systems, legends, symbols, scales, compass roses, to construct and interpret maps.
*Translate geographic data into a variety of formats such as raw data to graph maps.
*The student understands the concept of regions.
The student is expected to:
*Describe a variety of regions in Texas and the Western Hemisphere, such as political, population, and economic regions that result from patterns of human activity.
*Describe a variety of regions in Texas and the Western Hemisphere, such as, landform, climate, and vegetation regions that result from physical characteristics.
*Compare the regions of Texas with the regions of the United States and other parts of the world.

Objective List:
1.  To work in-groups to get assignments completed.
2.  To complete activities individually.
3.  To use creativeness for assignments.
4.  To find information on the Internet and complete a worksheet for a web site.

Overview Of Presentation:

This project is over the Plains Indians. I became interested in this when I did a hyperstudio stack in my TECH 210 class. I learned a lot about the Plains Indians and thought it would be interesting for my students to become more aware of the pervious world, and how it once was. I want my students to come away with wanting to know more, but even if they do not want to do outside investigating they will walk away from my classroom knowing more about themselves and their region.


Day 1:

Sponge Activity: Have students name all the Plains Indian tribes that they know of. Then when they are finished I would write all of the tribes on the board so that they can see which ones they got correct.
Opening: Let the students know that we will be talking about the Plains Indians for the next two weeks. I will tell them that I will be reading a poem to them and that we will discuss it together as a class. Then they will break up into small groups of about 3-4 per group and they will do the "Before We Begin" worksheet. Then we will come back together as a class and combine all of the information on one big chart.
Guided Practice: I will read the poem "Procession" by Martin Lu Robbins. After the poem is read we will talk about what it means and review some of the words that they may not understand. Once this is finished I will read the poem again.
Independent Practice: I will divide the class into small group of about 3-4 students per group, and they will work on the "Before We Begin" worksheet. Once each group has completed their worksheet we will come together as a class and combine each groups information onto one giant chart that will remain up in front during the next two weeks. We will update the chart as the unit progresses.

Day 2:

Sponge Activity: Have students draw a picture of all the different types of chores they do.
Opening: I will tell that them we will be watching a hyperstudio that I did. Once we have completed this they will individually do the "Venn Diagram: Jobs" worksheet.
Guided Practice: I will use a computer, screen, and LCD panel to show them the different types of jobs that each member of the Plains Indian family did.
Independent Practice: Each student will complete the "Venn Diagram: Job" worksheet and turn it into me.

Day 3:

Sponge Activity: Have students draw an imaginary animal.
Opening: Tell the students that I am going to read them a book and discuss its content., Then each student will write his of her own legend.
Guided Practice: I will read them Folk Tales of the Native Americans by Dee Brown. We will discuss the importance of legends of the Plains Indians.
Independent Practice: Students will write their own legend using the outline worksheet that will be provided.

Day 4:

Sponge Activity: Have them draw a picture of their house.
Opening: Let them know that we will be talking about the Plains Indians housing.
Guided Practice: We will have a discussion about where they live and what type of house they live in.
Independent Practice: They will make their own individual tipis (see "Make a Table-Top Tipi" worksheet) on instructions.

Day 5:

Sponge Activity: Have students make a buffalo out of brown cotton balls.
Opening: Let students know we will be talking about the importance of the buffalo to the Plains Indians, and I will be reading them a book. Lastly, they will complete a worksheet.
Guided Practice: I will read allowed Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker. Then we will discuss how vital the buffalo was to the Plains Indians.
Individual Practice: Students will individually complete "How the Buffalo was Used" worksheet and turn it in to me.

Day 6:

Sponge Activity: Have students draw a map of the school.
Opening: I will let the students know that we will be doing activities on how the Plains Indians used maps.
Guided Practice: I would draw a couple of example maps on the board that could have been used by the Plains Indians. We will discuss each map.
Individual Practice: I would draw a picture of a map on the board and then ask the students to write their own ideas about what the map is showing.

Day 7:

Sponge Activity: Have student write their names out and them with each corresponding letter write an adverb that describes them.
Opening: Let the students know that we will be discussing how and why the Plains Indians got their name. They will each complete a worksheet.
Guided Practice: Discuss what they wrote about their names, and ask the how they got their names and what it means.
Individual Practice: They will each complete "It’s All In A Name" worksheet and turn it into to me.

  Day 8:

Sponge Activity: Have students write in Spanish the number 1-10.
Opening: Let students know that we will be doing activities about the symbols used by the Plains Indians for communication.
Guided Practice: Discuss what pictographs are and what they mean. I would draw several pictographs on the board and explain what each one means.
Individual Practice: Have each student design their own pictographs and explain in a paragraph the story that is express with the pictures.

Day 9: (Internet Day)

Sponge Activity: Have students draw a picture of an Indian chief.
Opening: Tell students that we will be going to the computer lab and working in groups to complete a project.
Guided Practice: Go to the computer lab and give instruction on using the computers and getting information.
Individual Practice: Have students work in pairs or in-groups of three. Have them choose a Plains Indians tribe to find our more information about. Using the "Report On" worksheet have students complete some simple research to introduce them to their tribe. Lastly, have class come together in classroom, and have each group present their tribe to the class.

Day 10:

Finish Presentations if they haven’t already
*Have students do "Word Match" worksheet and turn it into me.
*Go back to the giant chart that we did the first day we started this unit and see what new information we can add to it. Have the chart remain in the front of the class the remaining of the year.


*Worksheets that correspond with each lesson.
*Computers, LCD panel, and screen.
*Pencils, crayons, markers, map pencils, ruler, & compass.
*Flour tortilla, bamboo skewers, toothpicks, food coloring in water, & paintbrushes.


There are many lessons that can be extended form these lessons.
*Math-Make up word problems using Indians.
*English-read different books to them and have them read the books individually (see list of books in Bibliography section).

Internet Questions:

1.  The Plains Indians lived in the area of our country known as the ________(Great Plains)_________.
2.  What was the most important natural resource of the Plains Indians?  (the buffalo)
3.  What are the 3 basic needs of the Plains Indians?  (food, clothing, & shelter)
4.  What does migration mean?  (the constant movement of a people)
5.  What did the Plains Indians live in?  (teppees)
6.  What is another name for the skin of a buffalo?  (hide)
7.  True or False.  The Plains Indians only killed what they needed in order to survive?  (True)
8.  Who were the indians who received many visions?  (medicine men)
9.  Who was one of the most famous Indian Chiefs of the Plains Indians?  (Sitting Bull)


All worksheets referenced can be found in this booklet:A Thematic Unit About: Plains Indians by Mari Lu Robbins, Evan-moor Corp, 1996.
Folk Tales of the Native Americans by Dee Brown, Henry Holt and Company, 1993.
The Indian Heritage of American by M., Jr., Alfred A. Knopf, 1968.
The Native Americans: an Illustrated History by David Hurt Thomas, Turner Publishing, 1993.
Through Indian Eyes by Beverly Slapin and Doris Seale, New Society Publishers, 1992.
Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker, Puffin Books, 1985.

Internet Sites:

Plains Indian Culture, visited on 3/25/99
Plains Indians Before 1700, visited on 4/2/99
The National Park Service-Plains Indians, visited on 4/8/99

Created 4-27-99

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