Friday, March 6, 2009

Native American Presentations

Mrs. Yollis’ class was learning about Native American tribes of the United States. We created posters to help us share what we learned for these four interesting tribes.

Each tribe was from a different region of the U.S.: Navajo, Cherokee, Iroquois, and Yurok. We used the U.S. map that we created earlier in the year to show where each tribe lived. Here are a few words from the “tribes” themselves.

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The Yurok
By Shane F., Sean, Taylor S., Amanda, and Marcus

The caring Yurok tribe lived along the northern coast of California. This region where the Pacific Ocean meets the land was full of fish, sea lions, deer, and acorns.

The men of the Yurok tribe did the hunting, and the women did the cooking. The shelter was made from the tallest trees in the world, the redwood trees. The plank house was partly underground and had a circular hole for a door. The Yurok money was made of long smooth shells called tooth shells. They came from shellfish that lived in deep water along the Pacific coast. In the Yurok tribe, the word for bald eagle was tohet, and the fish were called me’woo. In our opinion, we think that the Yurok tribe are helpful.

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The Iroquois
By Warren, James, Chloe, Shane J., and Lexi

The Iroquois lived south of Lake Ontario and west of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. They hunted deer, bear, beaver, and what they could find in their environment. Also, they harvested the three sisters, corn, beans, and squash.

Their houses, called longhouses, were made out of posts, bark, and animal hide. About six to ten families lived in one shelter.

(Extra credit longhouse created by Lexi and Taylor S.)

Important to the Iroquois tribe were the five Iroquois nations. They fought in wars to see who could hunt and who could farm the land. There was a belt called the Wampum Belt. On this belt, Iroquois believed that the four squares and the tree represented the five nations. In our eyes, we think that the Iroquois tribe is the best!

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The Cherokee
By Taylor G., Clementine, Jonah, Garrison, and Alasia

The Cherokee lived in the beautiful southeast Appalachian Mountains. Because of the plentiful environment, they had deer and rabbits to hunt. Also, they fished, collected turtles, and gathered acorns and fruit. Another way they survived was to farm corn, beans, and squash.

The Cherokee had a winter home and a summer home for special seasons. The winter home was shaped like a small dome and the summer home was shaped like a modern day house, except that it was made of logs. The Cherokee towns had more than a hundred people living in them.

The Cherokee had a special language made by a smart man named Sequoyah. The language had 86 letters, or characters, in it. His daughter was the first one to use his language. Here are some of the characters.

Not all of the Cherokee life was great. They had a sorrowful journey that was called the Trail of Tears. They were forced to move from their homes and unfortunately, many people passed away. We hope you enjoyed our presentation on the Cherokee Indians!

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The Navajo
By Bethany, Emily, Matthew, Kyle, and Behyan

The Navajo lived in the Basin and Range region near the Rocky Mountains. It was a sandy, dry area, but they managed to farm. Beans, squash, and corn are what they harvested. They also tended sheep and goats.

The Navajo used mud and wooden poles to build their hogans, or house. When they where done they would let them harden in the sun. The doors to all hogans faced east, where the sun rises.

(Extra credit hogan created by Bethany.)

One thing that was sacred to the Navajo was sand painting They used it to cure the ill. The medicine man would carefully put colorful sand in place. That is how the Navajo tribe survived in the desert.

(Extra credit tipi created by Taylor G. This was the shelter for the Sioux of the plains.)

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Several students were interested in weaving mats like some Native Americans did . They used plants they found in their yards. Here are three mats that were woven by students. Clementine and Taylor S. used agapanthus leaves. They were long and they
seemed like they would be a good material. Bethany and James both wove yucca leaves that we learned the Chumash Indians used to use.

After weeks of drying out, one weaving material turned out to be useless. It crumbled into pieces!

The yucca mats were strong, even after they dried out. The Chumash were smart to weave with such a strong material!

We enjoyed learning about America's history, and we hope you enjoy our post!

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Comment Ideas: Compare the tribes! How are they alike or different?

Do you know any other plants that can be used for weaving?


  1. Dear Class,
    I've noticed that the Yurok's house looks similar. Are they made of the same material?
    James =)

  2. Dear James,
    Thanks for your comment.

    Which houses were you comparing? The Yurok house and the longhouse?

    What are they both made from?


    Mrs. Yollis

  3. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    I was comparing the Cherokee's house with the Yurok's house.

  4. Dear Class,

    I noticed that the the Yurok and the Navajo both gather nuts for food.

    Bethany (the leader of the Navajo)

  5. Dear Class,

    I noticed that the Yurok spoke their
    language and the Cherokee wrote their
    language. Sequoyah made the Cherokee


  6. Dear Class,
    The Cherokee and the Iroquoi both farmed corn, beans, and squash. :)


  7. Dear Class,

    Thank you to James, Bethany, Sean, and Jonah for your additions!

    Earlier in the year, we read the Native American legend of "The Three Sisters".

    Does anyone remember *why* they called them sisters?

    Mrs. Yollis

  8. Dear Behyan, Bethany, Kyle, Matthew, and Emily,

    Did your tribe live in the desert? You mentioned that you lived in a dry place, but I did't know if you lived in the desert, or the hills.
    Great job with your presentation!

    Taylor S. :-)

  9. Dear Mrs.Yollis,

    I think squash, beans, and corn are called the three sisters, because their crops are always planted next to each other. They are all pretty much stuck together so they call them that.
    Great Question,
    Taylor S. :-)

  10. Dear Taylor,
    The Navajo tribe lived in the desert and not in the hills. Thanks for asking.
    From, Matthew

  11. I am a Yurok Indian living on the Yurok Reservation in Klamath California and would like to share some Yurok language with you Salmon were called naypooie. Sturgeon were call KA KA. Eels were called Kat ween. If you were to come to our home you would greet people by saying Eye yu quee to say hello or skew yen a quoi to say good morning. Goodby CHU

  12. @ CHU,

    Eye yu quee! Wokhlew for such a wonderful comment! I love that you added some new words for my students. I can't wait to share your comment with my class.

    I'm curious, how did you find our blog? Also, how is my Yurok? I think I opened my comment correctly...but maybe I chose the wrong words.

    Chuue' and please visit again!

    Mrs. Yollis


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