From Unit Plan: Native American Cultures



Grades K-3

Children of the Earth and Sky: Five Stories About Native American Children by Stephen Krensky (Grades K-2)
These beautifully illustrated original stories tell tales of five Native American peoples: the Hopi, Comanche, Mohican, Navajo, and Mandan.

If You Lived with the Iroquois by Ellen Levine (Grades 1-4)
Detailed, four-color paintings and a question-and-answer text bring to life the traditional life, customs, and everyday world of the Iroquoisone of the most powerful and influential of the American Indian nations.

If You Lived with the Sioux Indians by Ann McGovern (Grades 1-4)
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 (Grades 1-3)
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 Indians of the Northwest.

Native American Collection
7 Books (Grades K-3)
Set Includes

  • Children of the Earth and Sky
  • Giving Thanks
  • The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
  • The Mud Pony
  • The Rough-Face Girl
  • Snow Bear
  • The Trail of Tears

Grades 4-5

As Long as the Rivers Flow by Paula G. Allen (Grades 3-6)
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 Guided Reading Set: 6 Books (Grades 3-5)
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 Indianthe thing that makes Danny most proud. Can he find the courage to stand up for himself?

Native American Experience Collection:
10 Books (Grades 4-6)
Set Includes

  • Children of the Wild West
  • Guests
  • If You Lived With the Cherokee
  • Julie of the Wolves
  • Navajo Long Walk
  • Night Bird
  • Pocahontas and the Strangers
  • The Secret of the Seal
  • Sees Behind Trees
  • Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims

How Would You Survive as an American Indian? by Scott Steedman (Grades 4-6)
Imagine you are an American Indian living long ago. What was your life like? What were the hardships? Would you survive?

My Heart is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl, Carlisle Indian School, Pennsylvania, 1880 by Ann Rinaldi  (Grades 4-8)
Journey with a young Sioux girl when she is sent to a government run boarding school to learn the ways and culture of the white man.

Grades 6-8

Arilla Sun Down by Virgina Hamilton (Grades 6-8)
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.

Native American Experience Collection: 6 Books
(Grades 7-9)
Set Includes:

  • Arilla Sun Down
  • Dogsong
  • Dogwolf
  • The Eagle's Shadow
  • Indian Chiefs
  • The Legend of Jimmy Spoon

Scholastic Book Guides: Indian Chiefs
(Grades 6-9)


  • 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!

Web Sites

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 Anasazi Heritage Center, Dolores, Colorado
Provides teacher resources on the Ancestral Puebloan (or Anasazi) culture and other Native cultures in the Four Corners region.

The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Seattle, WA
Features an exhibit, resources, traveling study collections and Teacher Guide on Native American Basketry and Native American cultures 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.

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

Boston Children's Museum
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 dress, art, artifacts, and more, the site has given teachers and students permission to use all of the images in their work.