Great Plains: Blackfeet
Today we are studying the Blackfeet tribe. We made a tried playing a few Blackfeet Indian games today.
1. Review:We learned about the Cheyenne tribe in the Great Plains region last time. Today we will learn about another tribe in the Great Plains, the Blackfoot tribe. Remind students where the Great Plains region is on the regional map.
2. Map Skills: Compare the regional map to the globe or map today and see what countries or states are in the Great Plains region.
3. Discuss: Fill out the Tribes Chart after reading each section. Have the child listen closely to choose what word to put on the chart. Bold type words are good suggestions.
Habitat: Great Plains The Blackfeet Indians are original residents of the northern Plains, particularly Montana, Idaho, and Alberta, Canada.
Homes: The Blackfoot lived in buffalo-hide houses called tepee. Since the Blackfeet moved frequently to follow the buffalo herds, a tepee was carefully designed to set up and break down quickly, like a modern tent.
Dress: Blackfoot women wore long deerskin dresses. Men wore buckskin tunics and breechcloth and leggins. Blackfoot dresses and war shirts were fringed and often decorated with porcupine quills, beads, and elk teeth. Both Blackfeet women and men wore moccasins on their feet and buffalo-hide robes in cold weather. Blackfeet chiefs wore tall feather headdresses. Men wore their hair in three braids with a topknot or pompadour, and women wore their hair loose or in two thicker braids. Blackfeet people painted their faces for special occasions. They used different patterns for war paint, religious ceremonies, and festive decoration.
Food: The Blackfoot staple food was buffalo. Blackfoot men usually hunted the buffalo by driving them off cliffs or stalking them with bow and arrow. As they acquired horses, the Blackfoot tribe began to pursue the buffalo herds for communal hunts, moving their villages often as the buffalo migrated. In addition to buffalo meat, the Blackfoot Indians also ate small game like ground squirrels; and they gathered nuts and berries, and steamed camas roots as part of their diet.
4. Read: The Blackfeet Nation by Allison Lassieur
5. Comprehension questions:
What region did the Blackfeet live in? Great Plains
What kind of homes did the Blackfeet build? Tepee
What kind of clothes did the Blackfeet wear? Deerskin dresses, breechcoth, leggins, moccasins, painted and buckskin tunics
How did the Blackfeet get their food? Hunted and gathered
Mini-Moccasin Guessing Game
Blackfeet Indians of all ages loved games, including simple guessing games. Especially during the winter months, when there was more leisure time, they would play these games for hours, never getting bored. For this game you need 3 miniature moccasins, to hide a marble or coin in.
3 sheets of brown construction paper
1 marble or coil
- Fold one sheet of paper in half the long way. Round off the two top corner with scissors.
- Open the paper. Cut a “T” on the left side, about 9 inches long from the bottom. Cut a small rectangle at the bottom of the right side.
- Use markers to decorate the “T” side, above the top of the “T”. The Blackfeet liked triangles and small circles.
- Fold the two sides together. Glue together along the edge, leaving the flat bottom open.
- Fold back the “T” flaps about 1 inches. Cut the flaps like fringe.
- Fold the bottom corners of the rectangle to the center of the bottom and tape.
One player hides the marble inside one moccasin and sets the moccasins in a row. The other player guesses which one it is in. He is allowed 2 guesses. If the guesser is correct, he trades places with the hider and he gets to hide the marble.
We read about Indians painting their faces on page 71 of More Than Moccasins by Laurie Carlson then I painted J’s face for him.
We played the game that we found on page 104 and 105 of More Than Moccasins by Laurie Carlson. The Blackfeet tribes used buffalo ribs to play this game but we used craft sticks. We just decorated the 4 sticks with black and red markers according to the directions. Then followed the rules to play the game.
Native American Unit Study