Thursday, February 7, 2013

US History – Native Americans, Inuit

As part of our US History, we are learning about Native Americans.  Even though we are doing this as history, I want to make sure the kids realize that Native Americans are not just part of the past.  That there are many Native Americans still living in the United States.

We did some general reading about Native Americans, from our Usborne Internet Linked Encyclopedia of World History, from Children Just Like Me, and from Native American Myths.

Native American Myths (Myths from Around the World)

We read through the introduction pages from Native American History Pockets and the kids colored in the cover page.   We will not put these together as pockets the way Evan Moor directs.   We will be making notebook pages from some of the activities, and just doing our own thing with others.

We went through the Native American edition of our Studies Weekly and George did a cross-word puzzle of vocabulary terms.

The first specific tribe we learned about was the Inuit.   The Inuit live in the Arctic regions of Canada, Greenland and Alaska.   While I read the Student Booklet information pages from Evan Moor History Pockets, the kids colored in the pocket header, dictionary cards and the shelter stamp.   Vicki made a notebook page out of hers, while George’s were put on a poster we will be adding to as we study each tribe.



Evan Moor provides a comparison chart to fill in during the course of the study, but I thought adding the pictures to a larger grid would have more impact.

After getting some background information, we marked the regions where the Inuit live on our large world map.


At this point, George realized that he had the PERFECT books to read for what we were learning about and ran to get The Magic Tree House Polar Bears Past Bedtime and the Research Guide Polar Bears and the Arctic.  After promising him we could read through them at the end, we read a couple of picture books about Inuit.

Immi’s Gift is about a girl who receives some colorful gifts while ice fishing…

Immi's Gift

while The Very Last First Time is about an Inuit girls first trip under the ice to hunt for mussels. 

Very Last First Time

After reading both stories, we discussed some of the things that were different about the lives of the girls in the stories compared to our lives.  George’s main one was “I don’t eat mussels, YUCK!”.  George is familiar with mussels since we see the shells on the beach at the shore.

We discussed how one of the things the Inuit people do for entertainment during the long winters is tell stories (a project from History Pockets).  George made up a story about two brothers.   After I typed it up for him, he illustrated it by drawing pictures and with some Animal Planet stickers we had.  

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The last thing we did was set up a diorama using styrofoam blocks, artic animals, and some Native American paper dolls from Dover.

George drew some of the scenes from his story on the poster board base, while Vicki took two halves of a block and rubbed them together to make it “snow”.  Our ingluviak was very rough since the blocks wouldn’t stick together well (and the kids had no patience).  My original intention was to paint the blocks, which were kind of a off-white color, so they looked more snow-like, but the kids didn’t want to wait so they just played with it as it was.


Styrofoam Project Bricks

George added a few facts to his “research notebook” which is actually just a legal pad (I really need to get him a good spiral notebook for this) and we were done.


The next tribe we will learn about is the Tlingit.

1 comment:

  1. I had to smile when I saw your blog post on the Secular Homeschool blog feed, because I just finished doing a unit about the Arctic with my children too.