Native American Unit Study - Lesson 7a: Southwestern Indians

My daughter made a ring toss game, a bull roarer toy and a silver armband.

The ancestors of Native Americans of the southwest lived in houses carved into the sides of mountains. Their pueblo homes were like apartment buildings with different families living in each room. To escape enemies the houses were difficult to access. The Indians used ladders carved into tree trunks which the pulled into the houses when at home so unwanted guests could not easily visit.

The two living books Pueblo Storyteller and Pueblo Boy: Growing Up in Two Worlds focus on real natives from the southwest.

Ring Toss Game
Native American tribes played a variety of games. After learning about the ring toss game played by the Zuni tribe of New Mexico in the book More Than Moccasins: A Kid's Activity Guide to Traditional North American Indian Life (Hands-On History) by Laurie Carlson, my daughter decided to create the game.

First she cut two ring shapes from paper plates making sure that one was larger than the other. Then the plates were wrapped with yarn to cover all of the paper. The game is played by trying to toss the smaller ring inside the larger ring.

Bull Roarer
The Navajo along with several other tribes of the southwest made wind sticks used to pray for rain. They are basically sails on a strings that makes a wind-like noise when spun around in a circle.

First my daughter cut a rectangular shape from cardboard. Then a string was attached and the cardboard was decorated with marker.

Silver Armband
Silver and turquoise stones were naturally available in the southwest. Tribes often made jewelry from the silver. To make this simple armband a portion of a plastic water bottle was wrapped with aluminum foil. Since the bottle was curved, the bracelet fit perfectly.

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