Thursday, November 27, 2014

American Indian Unit Part 4 - Communication

Welcome to our American Indian Unit Part 4 - Communication with FREEBIES! 

 If you missed Parts 1, 2 & 3 of our American Indian Unit check them out. You can tip-toe on through our American Indian Garden of Learning BLAST to the PAST via these QUICK links:

Since our American Indian Hunting & Gathering Food section is so extensive, I will have to continue it next year as we also covered the 3 Sisters with emphasis on corn. There are so many more goodies for that part of our unit I just cannot possibly compile it all as "MOTHER",  I must begin to prepare our Thanksgiving meal today.

Therefore, I decided to post about American Indian Communications as I will be able to condense it into a quick post. After this post,  we must move on to our Christmas Unit and will have to say goodbye to our American Indian Unit until next year. It looks like our  blog will run the same as our homeschool in that what we do not finish, we carry over to the next year which, happens more oft than not. Not to sweat tho' as thematic units are built upon year by year as the children grow and their skill levels increase.

That said, on to our American Indian Communications studies. I began this part of our unit with how they communicated with other clans and tribes. Verbal language amongst families and fellow villagers (the familial clan) is more detailed for the age and learning levels of my babes. So, I began with smoke signals. I blew up & colored the following sheet to use as a visual chart:

You can do the same with our first FREEBIE from our AKGVH Teacher's Notebook Store:

I showed my babes how smoke signals work with a quick & easy science experiment using a tea kettle and washcloth. As the steam came out of the spout, I covered it with the wash cloth, then released it variably throughout out my demo. Due to its hazardous nature, I did this experiment myself so I was unable to take any flicks but you get the point.

Next moving to our oh - so handy pocket chart, I introduced an American Indian hand sign prayer for giving thanks unto the Lord:

I taught them this prayer to say at our Thanksgiving table! You can teach this prayer to your babes and have them perform it before your Thanksgiving dinner with the following video:

After that, we played a pocket chart matching game. First each child chose a hand sign to match:

They took their chosen cards to the pocket chart to match them up:

Next we learned more hand signs by playing another matching game. This game was a bit of a challenge as each hand sign chosen must be performed by the child. Then, if they got a match, they kept the matching cards. Whoever got the most matching cards, won the game. I layed out all the cards & Levi went first, but no matches on this round:

All are intrigued...did Thomas get a match?

Well, he may not have but Levi did:

Next Zander tries to make a match:

He made a match!

Come on, Thomas...make a match!

 He did it!

 After that, matches galore:


All that fun and learned some American Indian hand signs as well. It just cannot get any better than that!

Then we talked about pictographs. I showed them some pictograph sheets:

We talked about the pictures, their meanings and how to read them like a story.

We did the following pictograph PDF worksheets from Lakeshore:

Pictograph Worksheets PDF from Lakeshore 

We have a Vintage American Indian Communication Pack packed full of   the various types of their communication. There are worksheets, coloring pages, & crafts. You can check it out for purchase here:

Vintage American Indian Communication Combo Pack 

We made our own pictograph hides from paper bags. First I had them tear their bags into the shape of a hide. 

then crumple their bags over & over to give them a soft texture like a skin:  

 Next they spread them out:

and using our vintage black Art Chalk from Prang*:

If you would like some of this art chalk for your babes, I found some on Amazon & eBay. While you may not be able to get vintage chalk like ours, Amazon has a new pack:

eBay has a larger selection to choose from, even vintage:

Prang Freart Large Colored Chalk

*they drew their pictographs:

and L@@K, their pictographs are the BOMB!!

Of course not only did they get chalk on their hands and faces, l@@k at my floor:

Stoked I had them do this on the wood floor as a few squirts of vinegar & water along with a mop...QUICK clean up:

Now, that was SWEEEEEEEET!!!

Next we made my vintage American Indian sliders. On strips of tagboard measured to fit in the Indian's mouth, I wrote sight words, color words, spelling words and the like. If you need some tagboard, here are quick links:

   Heavy                              Medium                            Light 


On eBay, you can select the sizes and weights all on one page: 

Manilla Tagboard

Personally I go for medium or heavy weights altho' I do use the lightweights for individual chart projects such as these:

But for these sliders, I use either medium or heavy weights for their sturdiness which allows for smoother sliding. Also, buying the larger sizes is more economically sound for me as being homeschoolers, we do NOT receive an annual stipend. ALL materials & supplies are purchased by me with NO tax write off so I buy in bulk sizes more oft than not. I keep my scraps in sizes and clip them together with large paper clips:

I have a large amount of these clips on hand and you will want to get these clips for your classroom use as they can also be used to temporarily secure various crafts together until dry among other varied uses as well:


Select for your needs from eBay. Target has a few listings on this link as well: 

Jumbo Paper Clips

Then I store my scraps in this old box our Thunderbirds Are Go Toybox box. I wrap it with bungee cords for storage. As you can see from all the duck tape, it has been around for many a year:

It is wide and long enough to hold all my large scraps:

It stores quickly between my desk and my grandmother's antique trunk that I keep our Pirate playsets in:

And I cannot cut that tagboard into strips without my trusty paper cutter! Why, I just could NOT homeschool without it! Mine is a large one to accommodate accurate cutting larger sheets of paper:

You should get one too as you will find what a time saver it is & wonder what you ever did without one! You can get one just like mine from Amazon:

or select one of your choice from eBay:

Paper Cutter

With that info under our belt, let us move back to our American Indian Sliders. Ours turned out BEEEE-UUUUU-TI-FUL and my babes had a BLAST while learning their various lessons:

These sliders can be used for spelling words, sight words, word families, vocab building and MORE! You can get these sliders for your class with our last FREEBIE for the year from our vintage American Indian Unit at our AKGVH Teacher's Notebook store:

Vintage American Indian Vocabulary Slider FREEBIE!

Well folks, that wraps up our Vintage American Indian fun for the year. Be sure to come back next November for MORE of our vintage American Indian Unit activities!

Also come back very soon as this weekend, I will be posting our various Christmas Advent Calendar fun that we have done throughout the years with lots more FREEBIES! YEA!!! 

See you there!  

C.S. Calkins

Hearts for Home Blog Hop

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


Elementary Matters Looking at November


  1. Wow! What wonderful activities.Thanks so much for sharing this great activity.
    LMN Tree

  2. I have enjoyed following this unit on Manic Monday. I just found your store on Teacher's Notebook and I'm following you there.
    Artistry of Education

    1. Well, so very STOKED you dropped by Mary, & enjoyed our unit activities! I thank you for visiting my blog and following my store. You can look forward to many more goodies from the days of yesteryear, Lord willing! I just visited your blog the other day & downloaded your Fairy Tale Character Interview of which I profusely thank you!