From Unit Plan: Native American Cultures Teaching Guide


Books for Students

Grades K-3

Children of the Earth and Sky: Five Stories About Native American Children
by Stephen Krensky

These beautifully illustrated original stories tell tales of five Native American nations: the Hopi, Comanche, Mohican, Navajo, and Mandan.

If You Lived with the Iroquois
by Ellen Levine

Detailed, four-color paintings and a question-and-answer text bring to life the traditional life, customs, and everyday world of the Iroquois — one of the most powerful and influential of the American Indian nations.

If You Lived with the Sioux Indians
by Ann McGovern

Detailed, four-color paintings and a question-and-answer text bring to life the traditional life, customs, and everyday world of the Sioux before the influx of white soldiers and settlers.

If You Lived with the Indians of the Northwest Coast
by Anne Kamma

Told from a child's perspective, this book contains full-color illustrations and a question-and-answer text, which brings to life traditional customs and the everyday world of the Haida, Makah, Tlingit, and other coastal nations of the Northwest.

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
by Chief Jake Swamp, illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr.

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
by Tomie dePaola

The Mud Pony
by Caron Lee Cohen

The Rough-Face Girl
by Rafe Martin

Rabbit's Snow Dance
by James and Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Jeff Newman   

The Trail of Tears
by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Diana Magnuson


Grades 4-5

As Long as the Rivers Flow
by Paula G. Allen

Through the centuries and across tribal boundaries, countless Native Americans have made history, despite prejudices against them. These powerful essays celebrate the diversity and talents of nine Native Americans who have made great contributions to arts, politics, sports, and other aspects of American life.

Eagle Song
by Joseph Bruchac

Danny Bigtree's family has moved to a new city, and Danny can't seem to fit in. He's homesick for the Mohawk reservation, and the kids in his class tease him about being an Indian — the thing that makes Danny most proud. Can he find the courage to stand up for himself? A Guided Reading Set of 6 Books is available at The Teachers Store

How Would You Survive as an American Indian?
by Scott Steedman

Imagine you are an American Indian living long ago. What was your life like? What were the hardships? Would you survive?

Children of the Wild West
by Russell Freedman

by Michael Dorris

Sees Behind Trees
by Michael Dorris   

If You Lived With the Cherokee
by Connie Roop

Pocahontas and the Strangers
by Clyde Robert Bulla

Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims
by Clyde Robert Bulla   

The Secret of the Seal
by Deborah Davis


Grades 6-8

Arilla Sun Down
by Virgina Hamilton

Newbery Award-winner Virginia Hamilton creates a powerful novel of one girl's overwhelming determination to understand who she is. Twelve-year-old Arilla Adams has walked in her brother Jack's shadow for as long as she can remember. Arilla understands that she is Amerind (part African American, part Native American), but she cannot identify with being just one race like Jack, who identifies with being Native American. Only after saving her brother's life can she discover her true identity.

by Gary Paulsen

by Alden R. Carter
The Eagle's Shadow
by Nora Martin

Navajo Long Walk
by Nancy M. Armstrong

Indian Chiefs
by Russell Freedman

Scholastic Book Guides: Indian Chiefs by Russell Freedman


  • Book summary and author information
  • Vocabulary-builders
  • Discussion questions
  • Reproducible graphic organizers and writing activities
  • Effective management ideas for whole class, small group, and independent instruction!



Stimulate background knowledge with these related links:

Smithsonian Institution: National Museum of the American Indian
The Smithsonian's NMAI site provides an in-depth overview of their collection, including teaching resources, materials, and links to other sites.
A comprehensive portal site for Native American resources on the Internet.

The Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado
Provides video resources on the Ancestral Puebloan (or Anasazi) culture and other Native cultures in the Four Corners region.

The Bill Holm Center for the Study of Northwest Native Art
Features an online database and other resources on Native American art of the Pacific Northwest region

Internet Public Library
Includes lessons on Pueblo pottery

Native American Toys and Games
Interactive games from Native American cultures

Native American Book List (PDF)
Reading list on present-day Native Americans developed by the International Reading Association

American Indians in Children's Literature
Recommended books by or about American Indians and First Nations people

Indian Country Media Network
Online version of leading Native American publication in the United States. Includes topics of current interest or concern to Native peoples.

Oyate Article: Teaching Respect for Native Peoples
Includes guidelines for evaluating books, activities, materials on Native Americans

Map of American Indian Reservations (PDF)
Map from the U.S. Census Bureau

Pics4Learning: Native Americans
This site makes over 400 images of Native American culture available for students and teachers. Including images of Native American regalia, art, artifacts, and more, the site has given teachers and students permission to use all of the images in their work.