Upper Elementary
History & Social Studies

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month in November

November is Native American Heritage Month, and it's a great time to introduce your students to Native American history and culture. This is one of the most important subjects in American History, so make sure you get your students engaged and learning with these resources:
A Collection By Sian Babish
  • 9 Collection Items
  • 9 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Celebrating Native American Heritage Month in November
  • Sian Babish says:
    This is a state-by-state map of where Native American tribes are/were located. It gives some brief history of each tribe of the area, and lists the recognized communities there today. Some communities have open reservations that your class can visit.
  • Sian Babish says:
    Prominent Ojibwa author, David Treuer, writes this book so readers of Native American literature can be more critical, and more open-minded. It pushes beyond the stereotypes and pushes readers to reapproach Native American literature with a dedicated set of eyes. It's witty, engaging, and leaves the reader asking questions and revisiting texts. For anyone teaching Native American history and literature, this is a must-read.
  • Sian Babish says:
    Laura Wolfram and Horace Mann designed this lesson for grades 3-5. Students will learn about how the Plains Indians communicated through pictographs painted on tipis. It's great way to get students using a different, artistic medium in the classroom!
  • Sian Babish says:
    Caitlin Gallagher tears into Disney's historical inaccuracies in Pocahontas. From the timeline to the functionality of the historical relationships, Gallagher makes the point that the movie isn't exactly an educational resources. She does admit to still loving the movie (and the soundtrack).
  • Sian Babish says:
    The Smithsonian Folkways compiled a small Native American flute music catalog. Bring the collection into your classroom so your students can engage with Native American culture in an audial way. From this page you can also access other pages, including ones detailing Doc Tate Nevaquaya's involvement with the revival of flute music.
  • Sian Babish says:
    Meghan Crowley assembled a 27-page integrated lesson plan for a 2nd grade class. It includes everything from a rubric, printable packets, and maps. Crowley asserts the "Big Ideas" are to note the differences between nations of Native Americans and disprove common misconceptions about their cultures.
  • Sian Babish says:
    Morgan Spurlock spends a month on the Navajo Reservation, where he learns not only the history, but of present-day issues that affect the Navajo. Spurlock spends time working various jobs, meeting tribe members, and even serves as a new member of the Reservation Police. It's a good resource for older elementary and middle school students who can analyze some of the problems they see in the episode.
  • Sian Babish says:
    Lois Lewis designs this fascinating activity adaptable for grades 3-5. Students learn about the Navajo code talkers from World War II and use the same dictionary to create and decode their own messages. Lewis's final message on the activity is to encourage students to be as creative as possible!
  • Sian Babish says:
    Examine the different types of homes where different Native American peoples have lived. The pictures and descriptions on the page are well-organized and easy to see for note-taking purposes. It also offers links to further reading on Native American building styles.
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BloomBoard Asks:How can we learn more about Native American culture and history this November?