A Diorama about Native American Life in 1500 in the NE Woodlands – a Few Figures

Start with a simple base of cardboard or heavy construction paper, add some research and imagination, and youngsters can devise a miniature three-dimensional world to represent the homesteads (and perhaps even a village) of Native Americans in this part of the Northeastern Woodlands around 1500.

This is a project that’s especially well suited to conclude a multi-day study of the lifeways of Native Americans in this area at the very beginning of the Contact Period.  It can be a lively team or individual endeavor.  Children can develop their paper engineering skills to create half domes (wigwams) or half cylinders (small longhouses).  They can draw and cut out their own “people,” “deer,” “river,” “corn mounds,” etc. If you’re working in an area blessed with an actual grove or forest, students might use twigs supported on clay bases to represent trees and fish weirs – or acorn caps to represent big wooden bowls, or a dry oak leaf to symbolize a hide being tanned, etc.  It can be quite enchanting to do this project with a background of contemporary Native American flute music, such as compositions by Carlos Nakai…

EB Native American Diorama 1500 A. D.

Here is the PDF for some initial instructions and imagery:  Native American Diorama 1500 A. D., Family