of where they lived. However, the Sioux rarely stayed in one place. They were nomadic. They moved where and when the buffalo moved.

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1 The Plains Indians The land between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains was once known as the Great Plains. In the summer, the temperature often went above 100 degrees. The area usually flooded when it rained because the land was dry. In the winter, it could fall to 40 degrees below zero. It snowed often in the winter. The Great Plains had few trees or mountains. Most of the land was streams, grassland, hills, and valleys. There were many wild animals that lived on the Great Plains. Herds of buffalo moved all over the land. In the early 1800s, most people living in the Great Plains were Native Americans. Thirteen individual tribes made up the Sioux nation. The Sioux were part of the Plains Indians because Credits: Roger Stewart/Wilkinson Studios, Inc. 1

2 of where they lived. However, the Sioux rarely stayed in one place. They were nomadic. They moved where and when the buffalo moved. They knew DID YOU KNOW? The Plains tribes all spoke different languages. They created a type of sign language to communicate with each other. that as long as there were buffalo, there would be food and shelter. The Sioux lived in teepees. They made a tent shape using long wooden poles. They were then covered with buffalo hide. The poles traveled with the tribe. They knew they might not find any trees to make new poles. A whole group of teepees could be taken down in less than an hour. Because the Sioux were always on the move, this kind of housing helped them leave quickly. The early Sioux planted corn and hunted animals for meat. However, they eventually gave up farming and ate mostly buffalo, elk, antelope, and deer. When available, they added fruits and nuts to their diets. The Sioux used every part of the animals they hunted. Skins became clothing, blankets, and teepee coverings. Tendons became thread, and stomachs held water. Bones were sharpened into knives and spears. The Sioux were very resourceful people! Credits: Roger Stewart/Wilkinson Studios, Inc. 2

3 The Ancient Puebloans The Southwest desert is hot and dry. The ground is hard, but fertile. As of the 1800s, Ancient Puebloans lived along river valleys. They also lived high up on the rocky plateaus called mesas. The Pueblo tribes were not like other nomadic tribes. They lived in permanent villages. Pueblo is the Spanish word for village. There were over seventy villages before the Spanish arrived. Each village had its own government. Ancient Puebloan farmers planted and grew cotton. They used the cotton for their clothing. Most other Native American tribes used animal skins to make their clothing. Animal hides were used by Ancient Puebloans to make leather goods such as shoes. Fibers from tough desert plants were used to weave sandals, baskets, cradles, Credits: Roger Stewart/Wilkinson Studios, Inc. 1

4 DID YOU KNOW? Among the Ancient Puebloans, the men were the weavers and the women were the pottery makers. trays, and mats. Stones found in the desert were made into beads. The rich clay of the desert was used to make beautiful pottery. Ancient Puebloans used stones and sun-dried clay called adobe to build their homes. The buildings looked like modern-day apartments with several stories. Each story had many rooms. Family was important to the Ancient Puebloans. Extended families lived together. They used separate rooms for cooking, sleeping, and storage. The first story of every building had neither doors nor windows. It was a good way to keep out the enemy! Family members used ladders to climb up to their apartments. The buildings were terraced. The roof of each lower story served as a yard for the family that lived on the story above. This is where the family gathered together. Underground rooms called kivas were built for religious practices and group meetings. A Pueblo village was much like what we now call a community. Credits: left: Josemaria Toscano/123RF; right: Buddy Mays/Alamy 2

5 The Inuit AND Aleut As early as 2000 bc the cold, northern Arctic was home to the Inuit and the Aleut. Some Inuit and Aleut tribes lived in villages along the shoreline of the Arctic Ocean. The villages were small. They were made up mostly of members from the same family. In the far northern part of Canada, houses called igloos were made of blocks of ice or snow. Blocks of ice or snow were cut with long bone or ivory knives. The blocks were stacked into a dome shape. Inside the igloo was a platform for sleeping. The platform was covered with twigs and animal fur. A skylight made of ice was built into the top of the igloo. Families burned animal fat to cook fish and meat. Burning the fat also provided a little bit of heat. When the Credits: Roger Stewart/Wilkinson Studios, Inc.s 1

6 igloos melted in the summer, the family moved into tents made of animal skin. Inuit and Aleut houses in Alaska and Greenland were made of driftwood that had washed up on the shore and covered in sod cut from the top layer of the soil. The sod kept in whatever warmth there was. Skylights were made of thinly stretched and dried animal gut. A trapdoor led to a passage that was partway underground. When the weather warmed, the passage flooded from the melting snow and ice. Then the family moved into a tent. A Harbor Seal rests on the ice in Alaska. DID YOU KNOW? An experienced Inuit could build an igloo in about an hour. It took a little longer if you had never built one before. Some Inuit and Aleut tribes were nomadic. They moved around as they followed migrating seals, caribou, and polar bears. They lived in tents that were easy to move. Food was shared because it was so hard to find. When it got too cold to hunt, they dug shelters into the snow and ice. Both the Inuit and the Aleut used animal hides and fur to keep warm. Seal and otter skins made warm clothing that was also waterproof. Credits: left: NK Sanford/Alamy; right: JTB MEDIA CREATION, Inc./Alamy 2

7 Life on the Plateau In the past, the Plateau Indians lived between the Cascade Mountains in Washington and the Bitterroot Mountains in Idaho. Temperatures were cold in the winter and hot in the summer. There was little precipitation. The landscape in this area varied. Much of the area was made up of desert, mountains, and narrow valleys. There were rolling hills or flatlands too. Two great rivers ran through the area. Trout, salmon, and eels were abundant in the Columbia and Fraser Rivers. These fish were the main source of food for the Plateau Indians. When the rivers froze, they ate dried fish they had prepared from their summer catch. Plateau Indians ate elk, caribou, deer, and bear when the fish supply was low. Plateau Indians made their Credits: Roger Stewart/Wilkinson Studios, Inc. 1

8 clothing from the hides of the animals they hunted. Bulb and root plants such as onions, carrots, bitterroot, and parsnips were an important part of their diet as well. They also gathered different kinds of berries to eat. Members of the tribes lived in permanent villages near water. They became nomadic during the hunting season but would return to their villages. Teepees were used as homes while hunting because they could be easily taken apart and moved. There were two types of village homes. Pit houses were round. Their bases were dug anywhere from 3 to 6 feet into the ground. The top of a pit house was usually shaped DID YOU KNOW? Because of its central location, Native American cultures from east and west of the plateau used it as a trading ground. like a cone. A ladder was used to enter the pit home from its top. Mat-covered surface houses had frames made from wooden poles. They were covered with heavy mats made from reeds, a kind of tall grass. Several families lived in a surface house. Sharing belongings was important to many Plateau Indians. They believed that those with plenty of food should give to those with little food so that everyone could be equal. Credits: Tim Jones/Wilkinson Studios, Inc. 2

9 Native Americans of the Eastern Woodlands Long ago before there were big cities, the eastern part of the United States was covered with forests. The Iroquois lived in the northern areas of the East. We now know that area as New York. Originally, there were five separate Iroquois tribes. Eventually, the tribes joined forces and became a single Iroquois nation. The Iroquois lived in either wigwams or longhouses. Trees with narrow trunks were bent into a rounded shape to make wigwams. They were then covered with large pieces of tree bark. The pieces of tree bark were overlapped in order to keep out the rain and snow. Then dried grasses were placed on top of the layer of bark to insulate the wigwam. Connecting Passage Credits: Roger Stewart/Wilkinson Studios, Inc. 1

10 A hole was cut out at the very top of the wigwam. When a fire was built inside the wigwam to keep the family warm, the smoke could escape. Longhouses were also made from trees and grasses. They were rectangular rather than round and made to house several families. A single opening at the front of the house could be closed against enemies. Inside the longhouse were several rooms. Each room included platforms on which people slept. Deer were plentiful in that part of the country, so beds were covered with deerskin. The Iroquois hunted with bows and arrows made from what they could find in the forests. They fished in canoes made DID YOU KNOW? In many Native American cultures, beans, corn, and squash are known as The Three Sisters. of hollowed-out trees. The Iroquois ate fruits, nuts, and berries in addition to the meat and fish they hunted and caught. They also cleared some of the forest and grew corn, squash, and beans. In the winter, maple syrup was tapped from the trees and made into sugar. Deerskin clothing kept everyone warm. The Iroquois truly did live off the land. Connecting Passage Credits: Tim Jones/Wilkinson Studios, Inc. 2

11 Student Response Sheet Individual Reading Name Key Question How were early Native American cultures connected to the land on which they lived? On Your Own 1. Read the Key Question. Then read the passage. Look for details about the Native American culture that will help you answer the Key Question. Circle or underline those details in the passage. 2. Now look back at your passage. Write the details you circled or underlined on the Web Wheel below. Ways in which the culture is connected to the land 3. Think about the Key Question. Write your answer to the Key Question using what you learned in the passage you read. My First Answer 1

12 Student Response Sheet Team Discussion Name Key Question How were early Native American cultures connected to the land on which they lived? Share Your Ideas Meet with your team. Talk about each passage your team read. 1. Tell the team about the Native American culture you read about in the passage. Show the Web Wheel you made. 2. Look at the Web Wheels your team members made. Compare details in each of the passages by looking at all the webs. Answer these questions together. What do all the Native American cultures you read about have in common? How did where the groups live affect their everyday lives? Next, write the details that will help answer the Key Question on the Web Wheel to the right. Write only the details that are in every passage your team read. Answer the Key Question Review your team s Web Wheel. As a team, write an answer to the Key Question. Use what you learned from the passages to support your answer. Ways in which the culture is connected to the land How were early Native American cultures connected to the land on which they lived? Our Team s Answer 2

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