September 27, 2012

Native Americans Day 8: Great Basin: Shoshone

Great Basin: Shoshone
1. Review: We talked about the Pomo tribe in the California region last time. Today we will move to the Great Basin region (show on regional map) and learn about the Shoshone tribe.
2. Map Skills: Compare the regional map to the globe or map today and see what countries or states are in the California region.
2. Map Skills: Compare the regional map to the globe or map today and see what countries or states are in the Great Basin 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 Great Basin region on the blank Native American Groups Map.
  • Habitat: Great Basin The Shoshone Indians were far-ranging people. Different bands of Shoshone Indians lived in what is now Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and even parts of California.
  • Homes: The Shoshones lived in the tall, cone-shaped houses known as wickiups. They used branches and grasses to build these summer homes. They used 3 wooden poles covered with the dry grass. In the winter they covered the wickiups with elk-hides.
  • Dress: Shoshone women wore long deerskin dresses with wide sleeves. Shoshone men wore breechcloth and leggins, as well as buckskin shirts when the weather was cool. Both men and women wore moccasins on their feet. A Shoshone lady's dress or warrior's shirt was fringed and often decorated with porcupine quills and beadwork. Shoshone women often wore basket hats. Shoshone men and women both wore their hair either loose or in two long braids, and sometimes wrapped their braids in fur.
  • Food: The Shoshone were big game hunters. Men worked together to hunt buffalo on the plains, and also hunted deer, mountain sheep, and other animals, they also relied on salmon fishing, as well as roots and seeds gathered by the women.
4. Read: The Shoshone by Sarah De Capua
5. Comprehension questions:
  • What region did the Shoshone live in? Great Basin
  • What kind of homes did the Shoshone build? Wickiups
  • What kind of clothes did the Shoshone wear? Deerskin dresses, breechcloth, legging, buckskin skirts, moccasins, painted
  • How did the Shoshone get their food? Hunted, fished, and gathered

Arrowhead Tool

Discuss: Show the children pictures of arrowheads and explain how Native Americans used them. Talk to them about how the weight and shape were used to make the perfect arrowhead.


Pencil, Construction Paper, Arrowhead Outline, Sculpey modeling clay, String or yarn, Beads


1. Encourage the children to draw pictures of arrowheads on construction paper, we looked a a few real ones and some in a book. 


2. Kids can sculpt arrowheads with Sculpey modeling clay. 


3. Punch holes in the sides of the arrowheads so that the children can string them on necklaces.

4. Bake the clay arrowheads in the oven according to clay directions and string them with beads to make a Native American necklace.

Sacajawea Biography
Read: A Picture Book of Sacagawea by David A. Adler

Sacajawea was a Shoshone Indian princess. One day while Sacajawea and her brother were hunting, another Indian tribe attacked their Shoshone village. They killed Sacajawea's father and captured Sacajawea. Sacajawea went from being a princess to being a slave.
When Sacajawea became too old to be a slave she was sold to a trapper from Canada, named Charbonneau. He married Sacajawea and took her to the Mandan village where they lived.
One day some white men guided by Lewis and Clark arrived in the Mandan village to the loud beating of the tom-toms. Charbonneau said he would travel west with Lewis and Clark when the spring came because they needed a guide. In February Sacajawea and Charbanneau had a baby and named him Pomp. Captain Clark wanted Sacajawea to travel with the group because she spoke the Shoshone language and could ask the Shoshone Indians for horses to travel west. Sacajawea was the only one who could speak the Shoshone language. Sacajawea represented peace as she traveled with Lewis and Clark because war parties did not travel with women and children.
While traveling a large gust on wind came up. The boat Sacajawea was traveling in filled with water. Sacajawea gathered up the supplies that were about to be lost in the river. Captain Clark was so grateful that he gave her a belt of blue beads.
Sacajawea knew she had reached her home when she found the rocks she had hidden behind during her childhood raid.Sacajawea was sad when she walked through Indian village because she could not find her family. When Sacajawea reached the chief's teepee she found her brother. She told her brother how Clark had saved her life and that he was her friend. Then she asked for horses for their trip west.
Sacajawea had decided to go on with Lewis and Clark rather than stay with the Shoshone. Lewis and Clark traveled by horseback over the Rocky Mountains. The group then traveled on the rivers for three months.
After reaching the Pacific Ocean the men built a fort to live in during the winter. Sacajawea felt happy for helping Lewis and Clark find the Pacific Ocean and for also finding her people. In the spring Sacajawea returned to the Shoshone Indian village. When she returned Sacajawea could not find her brother. No one knows if she ever saw him again.

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. 

Weave a Basket
Discuss: The Shoshone once wove baskets out of willow branches. The Shoshone carried many things in these baskets as they traveled.

  • Tag board
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Yarn (2 pieces each 4 yards long)
  1. Cut four strips from the tag board. The strips should be ½ inch wide and 12 inches long.
  2. Lay the 4 strips across each other to form an astric. Staple the strips together in the middle.
  3. Put both strings of yarn around one side of the bottom strip. Push the yarn toward the middle.
  4. Put one string in front of the next strip and one string in back of the next strip and so on.
  5. Weave the two strings. Continue weaving 10 times around the circle. Bend the strips up with your hands to form a basket shape. Keep weaving until you have 6 inches of yarn left. 
  6. Tie the yarn around the last strip.
  7. Trim the tag board strips to about half an inch and fold them in. Staple Each strip down.
  8. Use the remaining yarn to tie a handle.

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