The next Native American tribe we learned about was the Maidu. The Maidu lived in northern California, near the Sierra Nevada mountains. The kids started with coloring in the title and dictionary cards from our History Pockets, while I read to them from the information pages.
They were hunter and gatherers rather than farmers. Acorns were one of their primary foods, and were ground into flour. The kids found this very interesting since acorns are very easy to find around here. They thought maybe we should go gather some acorns to eat.
So we moved on to a discussion of how the Maidu were basket weavers and would make all kinds of baskets for gathering acorns and other food but also to use for cooking, as bowls, and for storing many items. We were recently at the Newark Museum with 4-H (more on that will be coming later) and viewed an exhibit showing many Native American baskets, including some Maidu burden baskets and seed beaters.
As we continued reading, we learned about the earth lodges the Maidu lived in and about the Bear Dance celebrations. We added all the information to our Native American chart.
We read more about the Maidu in a couple books we checked out from the library….
and we made necklaces using bear claws (made from clay left-over from another project), feathers (stuck into clay beads to make it easier to work with), and beads. I tried to use beads that were at least colors that could possibly be found in nature, but George really wanted to put the word Maidu on his.
George then read a story about Maidu children living at a boarding school, Home to Medicine Mountain, and wrote in his journal about the Maidu.