Birch Bark Box Template Ojibwe Native American Art & Social Studies Lesson

Grade Levels
4th - 9th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
1 page
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This is a template I created for a Birch Bark box. I used my own photo of birch tree bark and created a template for all the pieces to create a small round box inspired by Native American Ojibwe birch bark boxes. This template would make a great activity for a social studies lesson on Native American topics. The template is simple and easy for middle school and high school students to construct. All you need are scissors and glue!

-Birchbark template (.dox and .pdf)
-Plain Birchbark Template (.docx and .pdf)
-MN American Indian Art Powerpoint (.pdf and .pptx)
-Example photos

Students can decorate their box components using beads, colored toothpicks (these are a good imitation of porcupine quills), leather, etc. This project was preceded by having students compare and contrast traditional Native American art with three contemporary Native American artists. We also talked about how traditional Native American art was made with natural materials such as birch bark. We talked about how birch bark is very waterproof and why this would be useful.

Materials Needed:
-White glue
-Paper with box template printed (cardstock or vellum preferred)
-Decorations (toothpicks, beads, leather, string, etc.) Optional

1) Each student gets a paper with the template printed on it. Print on vellum or cardstock to make it stronger.
2) Students cut out all components. Make sure students do not cut off the part with the dashed lines. You should have four parts total: The top lid, bottom, lid rim, and box body.
3) Decorate BEFORE gluing together. Students could also decorate the top lid with Native American symbols/petroglyphs.
4) Take the lid rim and fold along the line with all the dashes to create a fold. Cut along the solid lines only. This makes a fringe along the bottom of the lid rim.
5) Glue the fringe along the lid top. Make sure to press down firmly.
6) Repeat with the box body and bottom circle. Make sure the two pieces fit together well.
Total Pages
1 page
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours
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