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
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.
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
Then the kids filled out the Native American Worksheet comparing two different tribes we learned about.
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.
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
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
- 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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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- Make a teepee, dig for arrowheads, color our printable books and more in this Native Americans for Kids lessons
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- 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!
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- 1950s for Kids Reader to Color, Learn and read about what life was like in America in 1950
- Free Printable Maps including world map, continents, and country maps with and without labeling
- 16 Countries for Kids Printables
- Learn about the countries for kids with these free resources
- Help kids understand where do I live with this clever printable activity
- Super cute, Free printable India for Kids Book to color, read, and learn!
- China for Kids Printable Book helps kids learn about this large, populous country famous for the great wall of china, Terra Cotta Warriors, and the Forbidden city
- Join us for a fiesta as we learn about Mexico for Kids including delicious food, Mayan temples and more!
- Explore Venezuela for Kids with the beautiful Angel Falls and delicious Arepas in this printable mini book
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- You can find all our country coloring pages coloring pages or jump right to Spain Coloring Pages, China Coloring Pages, Italy Coloring Pages, Chile Coloring Pages, and Costa Rica Coloring Pages
- Children around the World Worksheets
- Country Coloring Book – explore 36 countries with country coloring pages
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