Lesson 2: Southwest Native Americans


Activity 1: The Four Directions in the Navajo's Life

Tell your child that the Navajo were one of the tribes who made its home in the Southwest. Optionally, she can read more about the Navajo online.

Give your child the page called "The Four Directions in the Navajo's Life." Encourage your child to follow the four directions throughout the day beginning with the east and south. Beneath each direction, she can record her response to the four directions.

During the day, she can accomplish her plans as she acts out the thoughts of the east and directions of the south. At the end of the day, she can reflect on the outcome of her plans, what went well, and how she can make tomorrow better.

Activity 2: Homes of the Southwest Tribes

Materials: bucket, small shovel or trowel
Go online and take a virtual field trip to discover the homes of the Southwest tribes. Here are some websites to explore.
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link
Let your child gather a bucket full of dirt from the yard. Encourage her to dig deeply to find dirt that has a lot of clay. Tell your child to take out the organic matter and any rocks from the soil. Ask your child to add water to the remaining soil, making a mud pie consistency. If your child needs to add extra clay to the mixture, this may help the consistency. Once the mixture's consistency is right, your child will be able to form small bricks. After she makes the bricks, let her leave them in the sun to dry for a day or two. Then, she will see firsthand how many of the earliest buildings were made by the Southwest tribes.

Activity 3: Living in the Desert

Look at pictures of the environment in the Southwest. Ask your child what type of habitat can be found in the southwestern part of our country (much of it is desert). Ask her how life for the Native Americans of the Southwest would have been different than life for the tribes in the Northeast and Southeast. Let your child list plants and animals that live in the desert regions of the Southwest. She can use online resources to help her. Now, ask her to think about ways the tribes of the Southwest may have made use of these living things.