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Southwest Native Americans for Kids

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!

 

More Native Americans Lessons for Kids

 

More Hands on History Units for Kids:

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 <<

About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables - www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com

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