September 27, 2012

Native Americans Day 4: Southwest: Apache

Southwest: Apache
1. Review: We talked about the Aztec tribe in the Mesoamerica region last time. Today we will move to the Southwest region (show on regional map) and learn about the Apache tribe.
2. Map Skills: Compare the regional map to the globe or map today and see what countries or states are in the Southwest region.
3. Discuss: Fill out the Tribes Chart after reading each section. Have the child listen closely to choose what word to put on the chart. Bold type words are good suggestions. After the chart has been filled out let the child color the Southwest region on the blank Native American Groups Map.
  • Habitat: Southwest The Apache Indians lived in what is now New Mexico and Arizona. They were a nomadic group of people and would at times travel as far south as Mexico.
  • Homes: Because the Apache were a wandering group. They lived in one place for only short periods of time then moved. The women built their homes called wickiups. The wickiup was a small dome-shaped hut. It was not sturdy. A mother and daughter could build the wickiup in a few hours. First they found a level spot. They drew a circle about eight feet across on the spot. Next the women dug a small trench beside the circle. Then thin poles of oak or willow trees were placed in an upright position in the trench to make the frame for the wickiup. The tops of the poles were pulled together and tied with strands of yucca. The top of the wickiup was only five or six feet high in the center. In cold weather an opening was left at the top of the hut so smoke could escape from the fires. Outside the wickiup was covered with bundles of grass and branches.
  • Dress: In the early years of the Apache they made their clothing from deer hide. They soaked the hide in water then stretched and rubbed it to make it soft. The men wore breechcloths and moccasins in warm weather. In cold weather they wore shirts that came almost to their knees. The moccasins reached to their knees or above with the soles covered with rough, untreated animal skin. The men wore a simple headband of deerskin. Later the Apache men wore vests like the Mexicans and Americans. The women wore skirts in the warm weather and simple dresses in the cold weather. The edges of the dresses were fringed and sometimes decorated with dried porcupine quills. They wore their hair straight instead of the more common braided style of many Native Americans. Later they began wearing Mexican clothing made of colorful cotton.
  • Food: The Apache lived on a variety of wild plants. The women gathered the plants. Favorites were the yucca and mescal plants. The women harvested the yucca plant in the spring and they gathered the mescal plant in late spring. The Apache also ate arrowhead, wild onions, and berries. The Apache gathered many kinds of nuts. A favorite nut was the pinion. The Apache buried their food for the winter. The men spent most of their time hunting deer, antelope, elk, and sometimes buffalo. The Apache would not touch fish or any animal that lived in the water. Before horses in the 1700’s the men hunted on foot.
4. Read: Apache by Heather Kissock and Jordan McGill
5. Comprehension questions:
  • What region did the Apache live in? Southwest
  • What kind of homes did the Apache build? Wickiups
  • What kind of clothes did the Apache wear? Deerskin, breechcloth, headbands, dresses and moccasins
  • How did the Apache get their food? Hunted and gathered
Throw Sticks
We did the activity on page 107 of More Than Moccasins by Laurie Carlson called Throw Sticks.  It is a game that the Apaches played with 2 players.   You make 3 colored sticks with crafts sticks.  Then you need 40 lima beans arranged in a circle set up in 10's.  You also need a marker to keep your score, we used feathers. 
To play you just toss the sticks and if you get 3 blank sides up you move your feather 10 beans around the circle, if you get 2 blank sides up you move 1 spot, if you get 1 blank side up you move 3 spots, and if you get 3 colored sides up you move 5 spots.  The other player starts his marker the opposite spot as yours on the circle.  If either of your feathers passes the other players then the other player goes back to their starting spot.

Apache Warbonnet
Today, soldiers earn medals and ribbons for acts of bravery in the military. Indian warriors earned eagle feathers that they displayed on headbands. Warbonnets were treasured and worn by men who had earned the right to wear each feather by doing a brave deed. A council would listen to the man tell about the experience, and then decide if the deserved the honor of wearing the feather. They used eagle feathers because the eagle is a powerful bird and the feathers were hard to get. The Blackfoot bonnet has all the feather sticking up around the headband. Ask the child what brave things he has done before?

  • Large paper coffee filter
  • White paper
  • Hairpins
  • Markers
  • Stapler or Tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  1. Draw and cut out a feather to use as a pattern. Trace and cut out several feathers from white paper.
  2. Use a dark brown marker to color the tip and center of each feather so they look like eagle feathers.
  3. Glue them in place around the edge of the coffee filter. They should stick out and be floppy. 
  4. This types of bonnet needs a couple of hairpins to pin it in place towards the back of your head so that the feathers aren't in your eyes.
Bull Roarer
We did the activity on page 85 of More Than Moccasins by Laurie Carlson called Bull Roarer, or moaning stick.  They used them to imitate the sound of the wind blowing, hoping to bring wind and rain.  Apaches would make the sticks from trees that had been struck by lightning.  We used a paint stirring stick.  We used markers to decorate it and then hammered a nail in the end.  
We tied a piece of string to the nail.  To use it you hold on to the end of the string and twirl the stick in circles above your head.  It really worked, and J loved to make the noise.

Geronimo Biography
Read: We The People Geronimo by James R. Rothaus

Geronimo (June 16, 1829 – February 17, 1909) was a Native American leader of the Bedonkohe Apache who fought against Mexico and the United States. The Mexican and United States wantedto expand into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars. "Geronimo" was the name given to him during a battle against the Mexican soldiers.
After an attack by Mexican soldiers killed his mother, wife and three children in 1858, Geronimo joined revenge attacks on the Mexicans. During his career as a war chief, he was notorious for consistently urging raids upon Mexican Provinces and their towns, and later against American locations.
In 1886 Geronimo surrendered to U.S. authorities after a lengthy pursuit. As a prisoner of war in old age he became a celebrity but was never allowed to return to the land of his birth. He later regretted his surrender and claimed the conditions he made had been ignored. Geronimo died in 1909 from complications of pneumonia at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
A biography is simply the story of a life. Biographies can be just a few sentences long, or they can fill an entire book—or two. They can be very short that tell the basic facts of someone's life and importance, or they can be longer that include that basic information of course, with a lot more detail, but they also tell a good story.
Biographies are usually about a famous person, but a biography of an ordinary person can tell us a lot about a particular time and place.  They are often about historical figures, but they can also be about people still living today.  Many biographies are written in chronological order.  Others focus on specific topics or accomplishments.

Biographers use primary and secondary sources.  Primary sources are things like letters, diaries, or newspaper articles; and secondary sources include other biographies, reference books, or histories that provide information about the subject of the biography.
To write a biography you should:
1. Select a person you are interested in and find out the basic facts of that person's life.  Start with the encyclopedia or almanac.
2. Think about what else you would like to know about the person, and what parts of the life you want to write most about. Some questions you might want to think about include:
  • What makes this person special or interesting?
  • What kind of effect did he or she have on the world? other people?
  • What are the adjectives you would most use to describe the person?
  • Would the world be better or worse if this person hadn't lived? How and why?
3.  Do additional research at your library or on the Internet to find information that helps you answer these questions and tell an interesting story.
4.  Write your biography.

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