NATIVE AMERICAN ACTIVITIES

 

Map of Indian Tribes

On a map of north America show the regions where different tribes lived and some still live today.

 

Wampum Necklaces

Use macaroni with holes so that you can string them.  To dye the macaroni you will need a large zip lock bag, 2 Tbls. rubbing alcohol and food coloring.  Shake the bag once you add the macaroni then let it dry on paper towels.  Here are some ideas to use once you have it finished.

         Have each child make a patterned strand of wampum.

         Assign each color a value and have the children add the value of their necklaces

         Keep the "wampum" and a chart of things Native Americans would need to buy at the math center. Assign each color a value to see what the children can buy.

Masks

Several Indian tribes would wear ugly masks to scare away illness.  Have the boys make masks with poster board, yarn and paint.

 

Make a Fetish

A Fetish is also known as a native American Good Luck Charm.  The fetish is to be worn around the neck for good luck, and is usually in the shape of an animal or other living thing. They can be made from Styrofoam, cardboard, soap or clay.  Also put a few beads on the string for detail. The details on the fetish should be simple.

 

Practice Picture Writing

Explain how Native Americans often used pictures to write.  Use the handbook for picture codes and have each boy write a message using the pictures.

 

Den Talking Stick

Go on a walk to find the perfect stick for your den.  Add leather laces to wrap around,  feathers, beads, stones and yarn.  During your den meeting, only the person with the talking stick can speak.

Twisted Rope Creatures

Supplies: 1/4 or 1/2 inch hemp rope, cut in lengths of 16 inches, Wire, Wire cutters

Cut the wire to the same length as the rope pieces. (Handle the wire cutters with care) Straighten the pieces of wire, if necessary. Threading them into the rope takes a little patience.  First, you untwist the hemp just a little, making a gap in the rope. Place the wire diagonally along the gap. Let the rope spring back into shape; this holds the wire in place. Keep working this way along the length of the rope.  You can make a four legged friend with three pieces of wired rope. Bend a long piece to form a head, body, and tail. Fold two shorter pieces to make pairs of legs. Tie the legs to the body with crisscrossed string.  To get shaggy manes and tails, unravel the hemp, pulling apart its fibers. Tie off with string. Bind cut ends, the animal's feet, for example, to keep them from unravelling.  If you want your animal to be colorful, dip him in a both of water colors or food coloring. Look around for trimmings to improve your creature's looks. Glue on beads, buttons, bottle caps, corks. Felt, ribbon also works well.

Painted Totem Pole

You can make a totem pole from a broomstick. Cut a 7 inch long piece off. Smooth it with sandpaper and paint Indian designs on it. Cut hard paper in the shape of double wings, paint them and paste them on the upper end of the pole. For the base, you can nail a polished wooden block to the pole and shellac or varnish the whole thing.

 

Indian Hat

Collect some bird feathers or cut them from colored paper. Then cut a stiff paper strip, long enough to fit around your head. Cut notches at each end that fit into each other. Line up the feathers in a row on the inside and tape them down.

 

Clay Coil Pots

Roll clay into long "snakes" and coil them to make the pot.   Use a round cookie cutter to make the bottom of the pot.

Clay Recipe

Mix together 1 cup corn starch, 2 cups baking soda, and 1/4 cup water in a pan.  Cook over medium heat until the clay forms - about 8 minutes.  Spread the clay and knead till smooth.

Cover with a damp towel to cool and keep moist.  Store in plastic bags till ready to use.

 

Indian Weather Stick

At a campout, have the boys make Indian weather sticks.  Take painting stirrers (have someone drill some holes along each side, which you can do at the camp site with some help from the boys).  Let them paint the sticks and get some leather strips and have the boys string beads, bells, etc. and thread through the holes so that they hang down. The Indian ones had the sun, moon, clouds, rain, etc. painted on them (although the boys had some really unique ideas).  Apparently, the Indians actually did this.  (The boys really enjoyed making and even took a group photo with them. Do this in shifts: paint, play game, come back, etc. so they didn't get bored.)