National Native American Heritage Month is celebrated in the month of November. Here are some fun activities that your K-12 students can participate in all year.
Learn and play with 7 Generation Games.
7 Generation Games is an award-winning video game company that develops cross-curricular math games for grades 3-8. (Students in high school can play too.) The games mainly focus on Indigenous and Latin American history and culture. This is blended with math and science. That way, students are holistically engaged in learning about how math has always been the foundation for all people throughout history. You can view the 7 Generation Games video game page here. A YouTube channel is also available. It has bilingual educational videos about Native Americans in English, Spanish and Lakota. Read more on 7 Generation Games here.
Native American Consultants have Cultural Resources
Native American consultants can provide learning opportunities to Indigenous and non-Indigenous students alike.
- SunClan Consulting, founded by Nadine Groenig (Laguna Pueblo), provides events and opportunities for youth leadership developing. All workshops are taught by Native American educators.
- Albert Chase, Esther Nystrom and Geneva Johnson have extensive experience in K-12 education. These three Navajo teachers each provide Navajo history, language and culture lessons as a service.
Attend a Native American event.
Schools and Native American organizations hold events like parades, powwows, or youth activities. Google the Native American cultural centers, convention center events, or museums to find information. Visit Powwows.com to locate a powwow event near your area. Social media, like Facebook, is also a good way to locate Native American events.
Research Native Americans at your local library.
Your students can explore books, DVDs, newspapers and digital media about Native American history at your library. (Some libraries carry free museum passes!) Visit our K-12 book list for books by Indigenous authors. Museums have virtual tours available.
- National Museum of the American Indian
- The Santa Fe Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
- National Park Service
- Social Justice Books
- Reading Rockets
- School Library Journal
Cook an Indigenous meal.
Kids enjoy helping out in the kitchen because cooking introduces mathematical ratios and new cuisines from different cultures. Your kids can learn about different tribes and their cuisine. If the kids are learning about the Ojibwe people, for example, then you can have them study wild rice harvesting and cook it after the lesson. Red Lake Nation Foods has several Indigenous foods to explore that include wild rice, teas, berry jams, and syrups.
Free recipes are available at FirstNations.org. If your students are learning about Minnesota and the Upper Midwest to your shelf, consider The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, by Sean Sherman. This can be rented at a library or purchased at your local bookstore.
Study Thanksgiving History
Thanksgiving history is an important key learning point for engaging critical thinking. Have you heard of Plimouth Patuxet? This is a museum based in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Their virtual tour examines the Wampanoag perspective in the events leading up to the first Thanksgiving as well as what happened afterward.
- American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving (PDF)
- Harvest Ceremony: Beyond the Thanksgiving Myth (PDF)