Native American Pow Wows

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The lesson introduces students to Native American Pow Wows, their origins, and other interesting and relevant information about the ceremonies and dances.  Many people misunderstand the history of the Pow Wow and there is often misinformation or myths about the dances.  Most young students will enjoy learning about the Pow Wows and teachers may also want to teach students the basic steps of some of the dances included using one or more of the additional resources for students to view samples of Pow Wows.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with other lessons related to Native Americans.

Native American Pow Wows Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Native American Pow Wows
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 1-3 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The lesson introduces students to Native American Pow Wows, their origins, and other interesting and relevant information about the ceremonies and dances.  Many people misunderstand the history of the Pow Wow and there is often misinformation or myths about the dances.  Most young students will enjoy learning about the Pow Wows and teachers may also want to teach students the basic steps of some of the dances included using one or more of the additional resources for students to view samples of Pow Wows.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with other lessons related to Native Americans.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction

  1. Ask: If you could paint all the buildings and houses in your town the same color, what color would you choose? Why?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask: If flattening your forhead allowed you to be the most important person in the town, would you want it done? Why or why not?
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Tell students there was once a civilization that had a town with buildings the same color, and the people tried to flatten their children’s foreheads.Introduce Maya Civilization.
  4. Distribute Maya Civilization content pages. Read and review the information with the students. Save the final question for lesson closing. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions. Group students in 3s or 4s. Remind students that they should include their own response on the activity page following a discussion for each question. Distribute colored pencils and paper for the mask drawing following discussions. Circulate through the room ensuring students remain on task.
  6. Once students have completed the responses to the questions, allow students to share with the class. (Responses to the activity questions will vary.) Give every student in the class a chance to respond to one of the questions. Encourage debate where appropriate. Allow students sufficient time to also complete the masks.
  7. Students share their mask designs with the class.
  8. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses. Allow students to share their symbols, other students try to guess the message.
  10. In closing, ask: What do you find most interesting or most unusual about Maya Civilization? Why?

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.4

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources: 

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Additional information

Grade Level

1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade

Subject

Social Studies