Classroom Activities & Projects
Animal TracksLevel: 10 to 12 years
- Discover some of the animals that lived on the Great Plains
- Discover how Plains Indians used some of these animals to make shoes and moccasins
- Discover some aspects of the way of life on the Great Plains
- Foster students' powers of observations, as well as their research skills
Worksheet 1: Animal Tracks introduces some of the animals that live on the Great Plains. Students match five trail patterns to the animals that make them (bison/buffalo; grizzly; porcupine; elk; moose).
Divide students into pairs. Ask each pair to look through the web exhibition 'Paths Across the Plains'. Ask them to find shoes or moccasins made from parts of the animals on the worksheet: one object for each animal, five objects in total. You may want to explore with your students the difference between a moccasin and a shoe: a moccasin is made of one piece of hide with no separate sole, while the upper of a shoe is sewn to a separate sole.
Once the group has identified five shoes/moccasins, they choose one of the five and answer the following questions. Write these questions on the blackboard, or prepare your own worksheet.
- Which animal provided material for the shoe/moccasin?
- Which part or parts of that animal were used?
- Are there any other materials on the shoe/moccasin? What are they and where did Plains Indians get these materials?
- On what surface did Plains Indians in the 19th century walk when they wore this shoe?
- Do you know the name of the group of people who made this shoe?
- Is the shoe/moccasin decorated? What designs do you see?
Ask each group to give a small presentation on one of the shoes they've chosen.