Native American Heritage Month

Explore all the free resources for Native American Heritage Month.

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Free Lessons

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The First People in Your Community

Formulate questions, conduct research, and then write a paragraph about the first people that lived in your community.

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The First People in Your State

Conduct research on the first people that lived in your state, and then answer what life was like for them.

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Tecumseh, the Shooting Star

Learn about Tecumseh, the Shawnee leader, and his relationship with white settlers and the U.S. government. Then, answer questions about Tecumseh’s motives and write statements about the point of view of a white settler and a follower of Tecumseh.

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In Their Own Words — Native Americans

Analyze a quote by Chief Seattle about his experience in the early 1800s in western Washington.

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Native Americans in Your Community

Find out what Native American ancestral land your community is on and research the Native American culture from that area.

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The Struggle for Civil Rights — Native Americans

Read to learn about the Native American struggle for civil rights in the 1960s. Then examine primary sources to gather more information.

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Documenting Famous Floridians — Osceola

Get a taste of being a director by planning a documentary trailer about a famous Floridian for the TCI documentary series Famous Floridians. In this free lesson, students will create a documentary about Osceola.

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The American Indian Quest for Civil Rights

Learn about the history of policies towards American Indians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Additionally, learn about the changes that occurred in the second half of the 20th century that led to a revival in American Indian culture and self-government.

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How Can We Learn About Native American Cultures?

Complete images of four Native American cultures and discover the similarities and differences between the four groups.

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Making Communities Better – Billy Frank Jr.

Create a human monument honoring Billy Frank Jr.’s contributions to the civil rights movements. His action made a difference in the lives of people in his own community and around the country.

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Biographies

Learn about five Native Americans. Consider assigning a group to read each and share what they’ve learned.

Outside Resources

See these collections for additional teaching ideas for Native American Heritage Month.

Indian Country Today— Do You Prefer ‘Native American’ or ‘American Indian’?

The nomenclature for Indigenous peoples of the Americas is complex. This article shares the perspectives of six Indigenous people from different tribes. Consider reading them with students and then researching other articles that share various viewpoints. Students can then write an argument using evidence from their research as to which term(s) they think should be used by the class.

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Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction— Teaching K-3 Thanksgiving

These tribally developed curriculum resources provide complete lesson guides. This lesson focuses on building a more accurate representation of Thanksgiving for grades K-3. The site includes dozens of other lessons.

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The Autry Museum of the American West— California Indians

The Autry’s website allows users to search for and view items in its collections. Users can search the collection by looking for the names of different groups of California Indians. The entry for each artifact includes an image and description of the item, including the resources used to make it.

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The Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian—American Indian Artifacts

The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian website allows users to search for and view items in its collections. The entry for each artifact includes an image and description of the article, including the resources used to make it.

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