Thursday, March 6, 2014

Native Americans - Iroquois

This is my second attempt to write this post.  I had it almost completed last weekend and my computer decided to crash.  BIG crash…return to factory settings crash.  I was able to get most of my documents and pictures loaded onto an external hard drive before resetting but I lost my post and I’ve been having a fun week reloading selected items onto my (hopefully) restored computer.

Continuing in their study of Native Americans, the kids learned about the Iroquois, who lived in the Northeast and actually consisted of six nations together.

The kids started off (as usual) by reading about the Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands from the Evan-Moor Native Americans book and completing their notebook pages.  Vicki has been getting a LOT better about coloring these days.  She’s willing to put in more effort than a random scribble and actually seems to be enjoying it.

Each of them wrote a brief list (Vicki) or sentence (George) about what they learned about Northeastern Natives.

They continued on to pocket 8 of our History Pockets – The Iroquois of the Northeast.   After learning about the “People of the Longhouse”, they colored in the title and dictionary cards.  George’s were added to our chart (it’s almost done!) and Vicki made a notebook page for our History binder.

They learned more about wampum – strings of small beads made from shells used for trade.  First they strung their own wampum strings.  Purple shells were the most uncommon so were the most valuable.

They then composed two different Wampum Wish Lists – one for what they thought an Iroquois child would actually want, and one for what they would want.  There Iroquois child lists showed a pretty good understanding of what life was like for the Iroquois.

George decided to write one of his items in code.  He’s been fascinated with codes recently and has “developed” a few of his own.  I’m not sure what to think of some of the other items they included. 
I guess I’m not surprised one of George’s items is “Vicki repelant (in my dreams!)”, which of course prompted Vicki to add “George repelet” to her list. 
I’m not sure why Vicki wants a “Zombie”?!?  And “Toy Puke” and “a toy butt” seem interesting choices.

They learned about story sticks and wrote their own stories.  George’s story was “He was told Do Not go up the hill.  Wait three nights to go to the hill.  But he went to the hill anyway and hunted sheep.  It rained for two days.  He regretted leaving home, so he went home. The end.” 

The also put together and painted a paper model of an Iroquois Longhouse (found at

The set-up and played a game that was played by Woodland Natives that involved putting wooden discs in a bowl, flipping them in the air and catching them again. Counting sticks were used to keep score.  The discs had designs written on one side and points were earned depending on how the discs landed – design up is one point, blank side up is zero points, outside the bowl is zero points.

They read the Iroquois legend of creation in The Woman Who Fell From the Sky: The Iroquois Story of Creation.

They have just one more region/tribe to complete Native Americans (and because of the computer snafu, that will actually be the next post I write!).

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