Here’s an activity page that highlights the ‘wild’ and domesticated plants that have fueled the lives of human beings in North America for millennia. Many are well-loved and important foods to this very day. Please point out to your students that most of our local food crops are actually, in terms of lineage, the gifts of Native American ingenuity and patience. Corn, for example, was domesticated in Mexico approximately 9,000 years ago! Together with beans and squash, it is one of the wonderful “Three Sisters,” a trio of plants who were foundational to indigenous agriculture. These were typically raised together on the same mound of earth because in various ways, they complemented each other’s growth. (This discovery has inspired growing methods in contemporary permaculture and agroforestry.) When combined with wild harvested foods of various kinds, these three plants (corn, beans, and squash) contributed mightily to the healthy food culture of Native peoples in the Americas.
This particular page can be used on its own for a variety of lessons. The various foods depicted can also be colored and cut out. Then they can be stored and carried home in the 3-D paper replica of a Birchbark Container whose pattern and assembly instructions can also be found on this website.