Often an image is very helpful to youngsters as they try to understand a situation that is not part of their everyday experience. Here’s a drawing of a Native American family of the Northeastern Woodlands depicted as they might have appeared in the 1500’s. It includes one of the family’s dogs, a wigwam, some hunting gear, a rabbit that will soon become supper, and a mortar and pestle. An important disclaimer: a better way to conceptualize Native American families at that time would have been a drawing that represented the extended family. In any case, this picture offers a starting place. It tries to help children recognize that people of different times and cultures are so very similar to the children themselves.
A coloring page such as this might be an interesting challenge for some students to transform with color or to use as a reference for their own drawings. It could become an extra project for a child who’s finished another assignment early or one who’s struggling with a task that’s too text heavy for their skills that particular day. It can also serve as a quiet activity that an entire class can try while listening to the reading of a Native American story.
There are so many wonderful tales from the N. E. Woodlands available in books or on tape! I particularly like Joseph Bruchac’s many story collections, some written in collaboration with Michael Caduto as part of the excellent Keepers series published in the 1990’s. Actual stories from the cultures themselves should always be included in our studies – as well as more objective, factual content.
Here’s the PDF: Native American Family 1500