Native Americans Day 16: Great Plains: Pawnee

Great Plains: Pawnee

Today we are studying the Pawnee tribe from the Great Plains region.  We did some math, a craft, and a literature activity.

1. Review:We learned about the Blackfoot tribe in the Great Plains region last time. Today we will learn about another tribe in the Great Plains, the Pawnee 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 Pawnee Indians are original people of Nebraska and Kansas. The Pawnee tribe was forced to move to a reservation in Oklahoma during the 1800’s .

  • Homes: Most Pawnee Indians lived in settled villages of round earthen lodges. Pawnee lodges were made from wooden frames covered with packed earth. When the Pawnee tribe went on hunting trips, they used buffalo-hide tepees as temporary shelter, similar to camping tents.

  • Dress: Pawnee women wore deerskin skirts and poncho-like blouses. Pawnee men wore breechcloth and leather leggings. Men did not usually wear shirts, but warriors sometimes wore special buckskin war shirts. The Pawnees wore moccasins on their feet, and in cold weather, they wore long buffalo-hide robes. A Pawnee lady’s dress or warrior’s shirt was fringed and often decorated with beadwork and painted designs. Pawnee Indian leaders sometimes wore the long warbonnets that Plains Indians are famous for. More often, Pawnee men shaved their heads except for a scalplock (one long lock of hair in back) and wore a porcupine roach on top. Pawnee women wore their hair either loose or braided. The Pawnees also painted their faces for special occasions.

  • Food: The Pawnees were farming people. Pawnee women raised crops of corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers. The men worked together to hunt buffalo and antelopes. Originally, Pawnee hunters would drive buffalo onto marshy land where it was easier to shoot them, but once they acquired horses, they hunted buffalo from horseback.

4. Read: Pawnee by Barbara A. Gray-Kanaiiosh

5. Comprehension questions:

  • What region did the Pawnee live in? Great Plains

  • What kind of homes did the Pawnee build? Earthen lodges

  • What kind of clothes did the Pawnee wear? Deerskin skits, leather leggins, ponch-like blouses, breechcloth, shaved heads and moccasins

  • How did the Pawnee get their food? Hunted and farmed

Teepee Village


• Construction paper
• Toothpicks (3 for each Tepee)
• Markers or crayons
• Glue
• Scissors
• Cotton ball


1. Prepare your paper. Cut a strip of green paper, for the grass, and glue it onto a full piece of sky blue paper. IMG_2820

2.Cut triangles out of paper and cut off the top tips. We used light brown paper for our Tepee’s.IMG_2821

3.Decorate your Tepee’s with markers, crayons or other embellishments.
4.Turn your Teepee’s over and glue 3 toothpicks on the back of each one. One toothpick on either side and one in the middle.

5. Glue your Tepee’s all over your grass to make your village.
6.To finish off your collage cut out a yellow sun and pull apart some cotton ball clouds to glue onto your paper. IMG_2825

Buffalo Pictograph

We used page 46 of Native Americans Thematic Unit by Leigh Hoven to do some buffalo math.

Native Americans and Horses
We used page 30 of Native Americans Thematic Unitby Leigh Hoven to do a little comprehension reading activity.


Native American Unit Study

Day 1: Circum-Caribbean: Taino

Day 2: Mesoamerica: Maya

Day 3: Mesoamerica: Aztec

Day 4: Southwest: Apache

Day 5: Southwest: Pueblo

Day 6: Southwest: Navajo

Day 7: California: Pomo

Day 8: Great Basin: Shoshone

Day 9: Plateau: Nez Perce

Day 10: Northwest Coast: Chinook

Day 11: Sub Arctic: Cree

Day 12: Arctic: Eskimo (Inuit)

Day 13: Great Plains: Sioux

Day 14: Great Plains: Cheyenne

Day 15: Great Plains: Blackfeet

Day 16: Great Plains: Pawnee

Day 17: Great Plains: Crow

Day 18: Southeast: Cherokee

Day 19: Southeast: Seminoles

Day 20: Northeast Woodland: Iroquois

Day 21: Northeast Woodland: Shawnee

Day 22: Northeast Woodland: Wampanoag

Day 23: Native American: Homes