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Native Americans of Our Region


  • Language Arts
  • History
    -- U.S. History


  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Brief Description

Students use a variety of reading strategies to learn about Indian tribes native to their region.


  • describe the life of an Indian tribe native to their area.


Native Americans, region, tribe, Indian, settlers

Materials Needed

  • A student resource for each of four or five different Indian tribes native to your region
  • journals or writing paper
  • markers, crayons, colored pencils, and other basic art/drawing supplies
  • CD or tape player

The Lesson

Before the lesson, locate a good grade-level resource about each of four or five Indian tribes that are native to your region or nearby regions. Select a passage/material that provides some good detail about each tribe. You might use textbook resources; or you can make use of books, Internet resources, magazines, and other materials. Plan it so that the material to be read can be read in 10-15 minutes.

To introduce the lesson, describe to students that they will be embarking on an adventure into the lives of Native Americans. Ask them to imagine a time machine that is able to take them back to the time before Europeans settled in their region.

Arrange students into groups of roughly equal size; one group for each of the Native American tribes for which you have gathered a reading resource. Each group will go to an assigned area/station of the classroom with the resource you provided.

Different Reading Strategies
Each group of students will read about a different Native American tribe in the region. Each group will also be instructed to use a specific reading strategy for this activity. For example, you might set it up so

  • Group 1 reads their story together as a group; each student reads aloud.
  • Group 2 uses pop-corn reading; each student reads a sentence and calls randomly on another student to read the next one.
  • Group three reads silently to themselves.
  • Group four listens to the story on tape or CD
Those are just a few possibilities; choose the reading strategies you want students to use.

During the course of the lesson, students rotate from one tribes area/station to the next, adopting the reading strategy assigned to that tribe as they move. First, students read the material; they use any remaining time to talk about what they learned from the reading. Students rotate until they have been to each tribes area/station.

After each group has done the cycle of all stations, have students select one of the tribes to write about in their journals. Challenge them to write an entry as if they were a part of that tribe. They should describe an aspect of their life as a member of the tribe. Students will draw pictures to go along with their journal entries. Encourage them to be as creative as they can.


Assess students
  • comprehension of the reading material (as made clear in their writing);
  • writing skills; and
  • illustrations.

    Submitted by

    Julia Snyder, student, University of the Pacific in Stockton, California

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