In our homeschool, my girls are proud to call themselves American Heritage Girls. We love this program for many reasons, but my favorite is because the service projects and badge work requirements fit perfectly with our homeschool style.
Since the badge work is all educational, I get to log all of the time spent working on these badges (including meeting time) as school hours.
How to Study Native Americans for Homeschool History
Since earlier this year in our homeschool we touched a little on Native Americans, I was thrilled when the girls asked if they could earn their Native American badge!
The girls each had their own set of requirements they had to complete in order to earn their badge. Some of these requirements had us visiting museums and researching famous Natives such as Pocahontas and Sacagawea.
We had a lot of ground to cover, so I decided to spend the entire month working on this unit study. We had a ton of fun with our studying, and really learned a lot about the culture of the Native Americans.
American Indians Lapbook by A Journey Through Learning
In addition to the AHG badge requirements, we chose a lapbook by A Journey Through Learning called American Indians. This lapbook was full of information we needed to help the girls earn their badges, plus so much more.
Some of the topics covered in this lapbook included:
- Regions the Native Americans lived in
- Sitting Bull
- Lewis and Clark
- Trail of Tears
- Tribes such as the Caddo, Sioux, Cherokee, Apache, and more.
Each day the girls sat down to work on 1-3 booklets in their lapbook, depending on the amount of work required for each booklet. I loved that they could read the lessons independently (also included in the lapbook) and answer the questions accordingly.
Since we’re Missouri homeschoolers, we are required to keep a portfolio that showcases what they’ve learned throughout the year. These lapbooks are the perfect addition to our yearly portfolios.
The girls enjoy doing the lapbook activities versus reading out of a textbook because they are a more hands-on approach to learning. They also love looking back at their completed lapbooks with their fun and colorful booklets at the end of each unit.
Books about Native Americans
As a third year Tenderheart, KK is working on her level award, which is named after Sacagawea. One of her requirements for this award is to learn all about Sacagawea and why she was so important.
Since last year was Moe’s turn to earn this award, we already had a book called “I am Sacagawea” by Grace Norwich. Every day, I had KK read a chapter or two and then tell me about what she learned that day.
She really enjoyed reading and learning all about why Sacagawea was so important in not only American history but our local history as well.
Here are some other books I found that would be great with a Native American unit study as well:
Native American Crafts and Activities
My girls love crafts. We could do art’s and crafts projects on the daily if I let them (usually I do, but it depends on how busy we are and how big the mess gets). Luckily there was no shortage of crafts projects for their badge requirements.
One of the activities we completed was a pottery project. The girls had to study how their favorite tribe created and painted their pottery. Then, they had to try to make their own the same way. The girls had a blast with this project!
(I will update with pictures of their finished pottery soon. They were still drying and waiting to be painted when I published this post).
Some of the other projects we had to complete (that I, unfortunately, was unable to get photo’s of) included:
- Study and recreate a musical instrument like the natives used
- Learn about native women’s hairstyles and style your own hair in a similar fashion
- Write a story using pictures and symbols
- Build a model home just like the homes your favorite native tribes lived in
Native American Field Trip
Underneath the St. Louis Arch is a fantastic museum that has a ton of information about Lewis and Clark, and the Native Americans who lived in this area during that time. I originally wanted to take the girls to this museum, but due to the Arch grounds being under construction, the museum was closed.
Instead, some of the museum artifacts were on display at the Capitol Building so the hubsterdude took them there to see and learn as much as possible.
Have you ever studied the Native Americans in your homeschool? Comment below and tell us about the fun you had during your studies! If you are a blogger, share your blog posts below (please only posts pertaining to studying Native Americans).