Lesson 1: The Very First Americans


Activity 1: Journal Entry

Materials: The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose, journal
Give your child the book The Very First Americans. Encourage him to record the names of the different groups of Native Americans he reads about on a page in his journal.

Activity 2: Dependence on the Natural World

Materials: The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose
Discuss with your child how Native Americans were dependent on natural resources and had a unique relationship with the natural world. Then choose an option for your child to complete.

Option 1

Ask your child to skim through the book and record ways the various tribes depended on natural resources. He can record this information on the page "Dependence on the Natural World" (Option 1).

Option 2 (Advanced)

Give your child the page "Dependence on the Natural World" (Option 2). Encourage him to skim through the book to look for ways that Native Americans depended on natural resources. On the chart, he will list one way that the Native Americans met their needs with natural resources, and then he will list one way in each area that we meet our needs without natural resources. For example, we use processed foods, sodas, polyester clothing, and plastic items in our homes.

Activity 3: Map of Groups of Native Americans

Materials: markers, crayons, or colored pencils
On the "Maps of Groups of Native American" page, your child will find a map of the groups of Native Americans discussed in the book, along with some other groups. Encourage him to shade the sections of the map according to the groups found in each part of the U.S. He can fill in the key based on the colors he uses. Then, within the shaded regions, encourage him to select a symbol for each of the four groups he read about in The Very First Americans. Explain that the symbols he draws on the map should reflect something unique about that specific group of American Indians.