This American Indian Village project is designed as a five-day unit on American Indians for the Kindergartener. I originally developed it as part of a three-week Thanksgiving unit, in which the first week focused on American Indians. However, it is not tied to anything Thanksgiving if you opt to use it in an independent study on American Indians. The format I implemented covers a Monday-Friday week (Day One-Day Five) of three small projects, which are incorporated into the full Indian Village project assembled during a 30-45 minute “unit” time on Friday (Day Five).
Each day’s unit is approximately 15-20 minutes long and begins with a recommended book to get the unit going. After reading about American Indians, small projects are completed which are set aside until the final Indian Village is assembled on Day Five. Each day lists all the materials needed for that day’s reading and project. Pictures are included to help you visualize the day's goals and plan accordingly. A printable parent letter is included on last page if you choose to have your students help you collect materials.
If you do not have the time or resources (or patience) to conduct the daily projects as a week-long unit with the whole class, or you simply want to assemble the Indian Village as a one-day project, you can either provide ready-made materials or you can place projects in various centers for the week to be completed by students in small groups on their own.
This is great hands-on activity that keeps your students focused throughout the week on learning important characteristics and achievements of the first Americans, and keeps them anticipating the final project at the end of the week to celebrate them.
Jennifer L. Weaver