Native Americans Day 17: Great Plains: Crow

Native Americans Day 17: Great Plains: Crow

Great Plains: Crow

Today is our last day in the Great Plains region.  We will be learning about the Crow tribe.

1. Review:We learned about the Pawnee tribe in the Great Plains region last time. Today we will learn about another tribe in the Great Plains, the Crow 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: The Crow Indians were far-ranging people, especially once they acquired horses. By the time the Americans met them they were living on the Great Plains in what is now Montana and Wyoming.

  • Homes: Like other Plains Indian tribes, the Crows lived in the tall, cone-shaped buffalo-hide houses known as tepees. Since the Crow tribe moved frequently to follow the buffalo herds, a tepee had to be carefully designed to set up and break down quickly, like a modern tent. An entire Crow village could be packed up and ready to move on within an hour.

  • Dress: Crow women wore long deerskin dresses. Crow men wore breechcloth with leggins and buckskin shirts. Both men and women wore moccasins on their feet. A Crow lady’s dress or warrior’s shirt was fringed and often decorated with porcupine quills, beadwork, and elk teeth. Crow Indian leaders sometimes wore the long warbonnets that Plains Indians are famous for. Crow men sometimes made their hair even longer by weaving horsehair into it. Crow men and women both wore their hair either loose or in two braids, but Crow men often styled the front of their hair into pompadours or other styles, and sometimes wrapped their braids in fur. The Crows also painted their faces for special occasions. They used different patterns for war paint, religious ceremonies, and festive decoration.

  • Food: The Crows were primarily hunting people. Crow men hunted deer, elk, and especially buffalo. Some Crow bands raised corn in their village gardens, but others grew only tobacco there. Sometimes Crow Indians traded for corn from more agricultural tribes such as the Mandans. Crow women also gathered herbs, fruits, and other plants to add to their diet.

4. Read: The Crow by Christin Ditchfield

5. Comprehension questions:

  • What region did the Crow live in? Great Plains

  • What kind of homes did the Crow build? Tepee

  • What kind of clothes did the Crow wear? Long deerskin dresses, breechcloth, leggins, moccasins, painted and buckskin shirts

  • How did the Crow get their food? Hunted and gathered

About the Tipi

We used page 33 of Native Americans Thematic Unit by Leigh Hoven to do a little teepee experiment.IMG_3008

 How sturdy is the teepee frame with just 3 poles (straws)?IMG_3006

How sturdy is the teepee with 15 poles?

 What is easier to put up?


Supplies needed:

  • 4 straight twigs (about a foot long each)
  • Yarn, twine, or a rubber band
  • A large, brown paper grocery bag
  • Scissors
  • A pencil
  • Crayons, tempera paint, or markers
  • Tape


  1. Bind the twigs together toward the top using yarn, string, or a rubber band. Leave about 3 inches of twig at one side of the string. Do not bind the twigs too tightly.
  2. Gently adjust the twigs so that they form a tepee shape.
  3. Holding the tepee above a piece of scrap paper, trace the outline of one side of the tepee. This will be your template for making the tepee. Cut out your triangular template.
  4. Open up a large paper bag along its seams. Lay your triangle template on the opened bag and trace its outline.
  5. Trace the triangle 3 more times with the long edges touching.
  6. Cut out this large polygon along the outside edge. Cut a door on one edge. IMG_3001
  7. Decorate the tepee using crayons or markers.IMG_3002
  8. Fold the paper along each of the pencil lines. Then form the paper into a tepee shape and tape the edges together.
  9. Snip off the top of the tepee (the twigs will go through this hole).
  10. Put the twigs into the tepee. Tape the twigs into place – each twig is taped along a fold line. IMG_3004


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

1 Comment

  1. Great article, just what I was looking for.

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