This fall we are learning about different Native American groups. The past few weeks we learned about the two language groups of the Northeast — the Algonquian Indians and the Iroquois and some of the tribes that make up these groups.
A few weeks ago, we went to Williamsburg, VA for homeschool week. That was truly wonderful and is the topic of another post! We went with some friends who had never been to Jamestown Settlement and decided to go there for the day while we were in the area (Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg, Virginia are all within 30 minutes of each other). This was just perfect because we (I!) really wanted to spend time at the Powhatan Village. The kids got to grind corn, help scrape the hair off a deer hide with clam shells, help in building a canoe (scraping out the ash), see traditional foods being cooked over a fire and so forth.
The museum was absolutely incredible and the kids learned so much about life at that time both for the Native Americans and for the Jamestown settlers.
We also purchased a book about the Powhatan Indians while we were there and read that over the course of several days, Life of the Powhatan: (affiliate link)
While we were at the Powhatan Village (at Jamestown), we paid very close attention to the way the dwellings were made as I told the kids they would try to make their own small version at home.
Once we were home we gave it a go. We took a close look again at the way the Powhatan dwellings were made. We tried creating a similar structure with pipe cleaners.
Then it was time to layer the “mats” over top. The kids really got a huge understanding of what a big project that must have been creating the “real thing.” In fact, the girls quickly resorted to taping all the layers on top of one another!
The girls decided to test and see how well their dwelling would hold up outside overnight. DD decided hers needed to be staked down like a tent (I thought that was pretty clever of her!).
One of the other main books we are using is a book by Suzanne Strauss Art called Native America on the Eve of Discovery. (affiliate link) We’ve been reading it aloud together. The kids always look forward to listening to this book. It has a lot of rich detail. (We used her book last year on Ancient China and loved it, so we thought we’d give this one a try as well.) She wrote it for Middle Schoolers, but it works well for my kids (6, 8, 11).
We also went over some things for our history notebooks, but I’m about out of time and will have to share that in another post. I’ll talk about what we did as we studied the Iroquois Indians and will share the printable I made for the kids then. Be sure to check out the second part of this post: Native Americans of the Northeast (Part II, Iroquois Indians) where I shared our Wampum belt project and the printable you see below:
You might be interested in this post about Jamestown:A Tour of Jamestown, VA–Fabulous for Kids. We stopped through last May and I shared pictures of the fort and ships as well.
See you soon here or at our Homeschool Den Facebook page!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
You may be interested in these related posts:
- Native Americans of the Northeast (Part I: The Algonquian Indians)
- Native Americans of the Northeast (Part II, Iroquois Indians) where I shared our Wampum belt project and the printable you see below:
- 6 Native American Picture Books for Kids