Lesson 2: Southwest Native Americans

Day 2

Activity 4: Finding Food

Explain to your child that the Native Americans were hunters and gatherers. Ask her what that might mean. Let your child make a list of foods that the Native Americans would have hunted and gathered. Ask her how this way of finding food is different than how food is found today. Today, most food is grown on farms and sold to grocery stores where people buy it.

The Southwest tribes did grow some foods, including corn, squash, and beans. Ask your child to make a list of foods that her family eats that contain corn, squash, or beans. Encourage her to check the pantry and even your recipes.

Activity 5: Tools for Food

Materials: 2 wooden sticks (popsicle, chopsticks, etc.), brown construction paper, glue or tape, rubber bands, scissors
Today, your child is going to make cactus fruit tongs. Explain to your child that the Hopi women gathered the fruit from the cactus plant. To avoid being stuck by the quills, they made tongs from stiff fibers of dead cactus.

Your child will also watch a video to learn about throwing sticks that hunters used to use. Throwing sticks carved from wood were used to hunt small game such as rabbits.

Give her the instructions for the tools found on the "Tools for Food" page, and let her follow the directions. When she has finished the tools, tell her to pretend she is a Native American who is hunting and gathering food for her family.
Web Link
Student Activity Page

Activity 6: Growing Corn

Ask your child to think about ways that corn can be eaten (corn on the cob, canned, popcorn, popcorn balls, and cornbread). Explain to your child that corn was the most important crop for Native American tribes. They had many, many uses for corn. On the page "Growing Corn," your child will find the steps for growing corn. Encourage her to put the steps in order.
Student Activity Page

Activity 7: Uses of Corn

Materials: 1 cup yellow cornmeal*, 1/2 cup brown sugar*, 1/2 cup finely chopped dried apples*, 1/2 tsp cinnamon*, 1/3 cup butter*, 1/4 cup grits soaked in 1/2 cup water*, 1/4 tsp cloves*, 1/4 tsp ginger*, 1/8 tsp allspice*, 1/8 tsp nutmeg*, 2 eggs*, 2/3 cup light molasses or maple syrup*, 3/4 tsp salt*, 4 cups milk*, cornhusks*, large mixing bowl*, scissors*, string*
For this activity, your child can either make a cornhusk doll (Option 1) or cook a Native American corn dish (Option 2).

Option 1: Cornhusk Doll

Give your child the directions for making a cornhusk doll. They are found on the page, "Cornhusk Doll (Option 1)".
Student Activity Page

Option 2: Native American Corn Dish

Give your child the recipe on the page, "Native American Corn Dish (Option 2)", and help her cook the corn dish. Explain that this recipe was one that the Native Americans shared with the settlers who moved out west.