Friday, July 26, 2013

Who were/are The Nez Perce?

This page is written as a part of a larger unit centered around The American Girl's Kaya Collection.  However, it is intended to be a great resource for anyone wishing to learn more about the Nimi'ipuu people and their history.  I thought it would be important to get past just Kaya and her life from long ago and make it clear that the Nimi'ipuu have a long history that started before Kaya and continues to this day.  So, the links below will include lessons and information about Nez Perce culture at the time of Kaya as well as Chief Joseph and the war of 1877, and Nez Perce projects, culture and activism today.

As a basic first step, we added the arrival of the horse to the North American continent, The arrival of Lewis and Clark in Nez Perce land, The arrival of missionaries, the War of 1877, the years Chief Joseph and his band spent on the Oklahoma Reservation, and the inauguration of more recent projects such as the such as the Wolf Conservation and Management Project to a timeline we are making regarding all of our history studies.  For more lessons (from Pinch of Everything) about the Nez Perce OR the Kaya series and language lessons that can accompany it, you will want to return to the Kaya Unit Home Page, to do this, simply click the titled link, or scroll to the bottom of the page for another link there.

Tons of Lessons and Tons of Choices

Native American Arts - This link will take you to pages upon pages of wonderful information for background and research on cultural aspects of this nation of people yesterday and today.

National Park Service - Nez Perce Historic Monument -This link will actually take you to a whole page full of lessons about not only the Nez Perce, but other groups too.  Scroll to the Nez Perce for eight fabulously detailed and well-designed Lessons on Nez Perce and their history.  Additionally, I want to highlight the Isaaptakay Project - A set of lessons that includes wonderfully engaging activities, a little math, and fabulous photos for use with the lessons.

PBS Nez Perce - This site has general information relating to the Nez Perce and their History as relates to the PBS special, "The Nez Perce."  On the left-hand side, you will find links to further pages including one for "Classroom Resources."

Idaho Historical Society - Junior Historian Program - "The Prospector" is a pseudo newspaper for kids that outlines what was happening during the war of 1877, who was involved, and different perspectives on the matter.  Have your student/students analyze for evidence of bias to one side's perspective or the other.  Read through the newspaper together, but also watch the PBS special and then have your students/child present the same information in a new way - a children's book?  Graphic novel? Play/reenactment. . .  For more background information from the society, click here.

Discovery Education Lesson Plan - "Breaking the Stereotype - the Writings of Chief Joseph" is a lesson that uses Chief Joseph's speech as a way to introduce kids to a different vision of what it means to have been a Native American during the time of Westward Expansion in the United States.  You might consider having your kids also take a look at photos of Chief Looking Glass in the same way the lesson asks kids to take a look at photos of Chief Joseph.
Photos - Archived photos from the Smithsonian.

A Chart for Comparing Tribes of North America - Make some of the spaces in this chart blank by covering them before copying and then have your kids do research, or use what they've learned during your lessons to fill in the blanks.  Leave tribes you don't study right where they are, or replace tribes you don't study with those you do.

Return to Kaya Unit Home Page

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