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Kids will have fun learning about the indigenous people of North American with this fun, hands on, history for kids lesson. We’ve included recipes, crafts, free printables and more so you can study Southwest Native Americans for Kids from preschool, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students.
Kids will have fun learning about the indigenous people of North American with this fun, hands on, history for kids lesson. We've included recipes, crafts, free printables and more so you can study Southwest Native Americans for Kids from preschool, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students.

Southwest Native Americans

This fun and easy history lesson helps teach kids about the southwest native Americans including the Hopi and Navajo tribes.  We’ve included everything you need for a complete lesson including history reader, Navajo Fry Bread, books to read, and an easy basket craft for kids. This homeschool history is perfect for preschoolers, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 students to learn together!

Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – you will love this fun Native Americans lesson for kids. It is hands on and free. Don’t’ miss our entire Native Americans for Kids unit  Plus we have lots of other fun, hands on history for kids units for children of all ages!

Southwest Native American

Start by scrolling to the bottom of the post, under the terms of use, and click on the text link that says >> Download <<. The pdf file will open in a new window for you to save the freebie and print the pages in the template.

native american tribes map_thumb[1]

Southwest Native American activities

This week’s lesson on Native Americans will cover the Southwest Tribes. You can see where the Southwest Tribes where in this map below in yellow. We learned about the hopi, navajo, and apache tribes located in the modern day states of Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, Utah, Texas and Mexico.

hopi and navajo indians for kids

We started out by printing out the two Southwest tribe printable books (from the free printable below). We read through the information on the Navajo and the Hopi tribes. Children had fun decorating their own Native American printable by using crayons, markers, and colored pencils to decorate their book. Then they can read the interesting information to learn about these Indian tribes.

Although their is lots of interesting information, some unique facts about these tribes are:

  • The Navajo lived in small family farms called a hogan
  • Navajo made silverwork, a trade they learned from the Spanish
  • Native navajo made colorful clothes they made from deerskin and sheepskin
  • In the Hopi tribe the women were the ones who owned land and the house
  • Hopi Indians used turquoise to make beautiful jewelry
  • The Hopi were pueblo people, but were unique in that they had their own language
  • Adobe homes were stacked; the Hopi used ladders to get to their houses

Comparing 2 native american tribes using Vendiagram for Native American homeschool unit

Then the kids filled out the Native American Worksheet comparing two different tribes we learned about.

Books to Read on the Southwest Tribes of North America

Navajo Fry Bread

Navajo Fry Bread

Then we dived  into my favorite part, making history come alive with hands on learning!

We made and tasted Navajo Fry Bread. I used the opportunity to tell the kids more history.

As the European settlers began colonizing and pushing the Native American farther and farther back conflicts arose. Eventually the Indians were put on reservations with hardly enough space or resources to keep their customs and lifestyle. They were given rations of flour, baking powder, and lard. So the Southwest tribes had to learn to make do with what they had and they came up with Navajo Fry Bread. They would serve it with honey or topped with meat like a taco.

Cooked navajo fry bread for hands on indian unit

A quick google search will give you lots of recipes. We use this traditional recipe:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup warm water

Step by stpe instructions

Apache Woven Basket Craft for Kids

This is such a fun, simple Native American Craft for Kids! To make these Apache Woven Baskets you’ll need:

  • paper plates
  • scissors
  • several skeins of yarn

Now cut slits around the paper plate ever 3” or so. Now take about 3 feet of yarn and fold it in half. Then tucking it into one of the slits start weaving it in and out of the slits going around the bowl. Once you complete a whole circle go back the other way and go in and out the opposite way. Continue until your piece of yarn is used up.

Native American Apache Tribe Woven Basket Craft for Kids

Now take another color and again grab about 3 feet, fold it in half, and attach it to the end of the yarn you just finished with. Continue following your pattern by going in and out.

Woven basket craft for kids

Repeat again and again until you complete the entire bowl and have made your Apache Woven Basket. This was another huge hit with the kids and was fun and doable for kids from Kindergarten through 3rd grade.

HINT: I suggest getting bowls without lips to make it look more authentic at the top.

More Helpful Native American Websites:

Note: I know for some people this is a very personal subject. We have done our best to represent a historically accurate account of life for Native Americans. We also discussed the influence of the white settlers along with life today for those with Native American roots. But the emphasis is on the historical part when the settlers first arrived.

I do not claim to be an expert in Native American culture and I know we have had to simplify many aspects of their culture and beliefs to fit with teaching this to elementary age kids. If you do not “like” our unit for whatever reason, I’m sorry. Any harsh comments will be deleted, but I welcome constructive feedback!


southwest indians for kids plains native americans for kids woodland native american

Native Americans for Kids

Learn more about Native American History for Kids of the indigenous Indians who lived in North America before the European settlers discovered American with these fun engaging history lessons with activities and free printable worksheets too!

Vikings for Kid s- this is a fun hands on history unit that will help make history come alive including history activities, history crafts, free history printables and more for learning about early explorers #vikings #history #homeschooling Tons of Jamestown Settlement Projects for Kids in this free unit on colonial america! Plus jamestown settlement crafts and free worksheets for kids of all ages in this colonial america lesson for homeschoolers and educational activities in school. #colonialamerica #historyforkids #kidsactivities civil war for kids free printable board game

History Lessons for Kids

Check out one of or MANY engaging, Free history lessons for kids

  • Explore American History for kids including lots of fun, hands on activities and free printables
  • Dive into Mesopotamia History to learn about Gilgamesh
  • 4 week lesson about Early Explorers for Kids
  • Learn about castles, knights, and more in this exciting Middle Ages for Kids
  • Make a teepee, dig for arrowheads, color our printable books and more in this Native Americans for Kids lessons
  • The Colonial America for Kids lesson takes kids on a journey back to the first permanent settlement in America – Jamestown. Students will learn about colonial life with lots of hands on projects like eating Gruel, making a Wattle & Daub house, and creating a tin lantern will make the settlement come alive.
  • We will make westward expansion for kids come alive for kids as they learn facts about the time period from about 1783-1898. In addition to learning about the Oregon trail, pony express, gold rush, transcontinental railroad, students will also learn to match animal trails, map the united states, and learn about North American animals too.
  • Civil War for Kids – students will learn about slavery, famous Americans from the Civil War, famous battles, and how our nation stayed together. Lesson includes printable worksheets, mapping activities, printable civil war board game and more!
  • Learn about US States for Kids – state coloring pages, president coloring pages, state report forms, states and capital printables, and so much more!
  • Rosa Parks for Kids Printable Reader to Color and Learn
  • Martin Luther King Jr for Kids Printable Reader to Color and Learn
  • Titanic for Kids Reader to Color and Learn
  • Learn about the Roaring 1920s for Kids – Printable Book to Read, Color, and Learn
  • 1930s for Kids – Printable Book about the Golden age of Hollywood, Great Depression for Kids and more to read, color, and learn
  • 1950s for Kids Reader to Color, Learn and read about what life was like in America in 1950

16 Printable Country Studies for Kids - children will have fun learning about countries around the world with this fun resource perfect for pre k, kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 including Kenya, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Netherlands, Mexico, China, Philippines, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Chile, Colombia, Australia, and Costa Rica. FREE Printable 50 Us States coloring pages Kids will have fun learning about Children Around the World using these free printable worksheets for kids of all ages. #childrenaroundtheworld #christmasaroundtheworld #geography

Looking for more resources and free worksheets to teach students about geography for kids? You will love these coloring sheets, printable maps, books, activities and games:


native americans - Southwest Tribes - includes 2 free printable books on the Navajo and Hopi), tribe comparisson, and ideas for hands on history for kids

Download Southwest Tribes Pack

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>> Download Native American Unit #3 <<

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  1. Monica Adams Avatar
    Monica Adams

    Thank you so much for these wonderful homeschool resources! We are a homeschool family that is planning a 3-week road trip. I am making binders for both of my kids to work on while we travel. We are so excited!
    On another note, I just had to tell you how cute I think your son is! He is just a doll with that big smile in all of the photos!