Native American Herb Pouch

Native American Herb Pouch lesson plan

Investigate the use of herbs by Native Americans while creating an herb pouch, and collect local wild herb specimens.

  • 1.

    During a unit of study focused on Native Americans, invite teams of students to study local herbs, their history and uses. Research how Native Americans gather these herbs for use as medicines and in their rituals. Explore symbols used by people of the indigenous nations who lived in your area. Students may use both text and electronic resources for this investigation approved by the teacher.

  • 2.

    Using a presentation format of choice, teams share their new learning with classmates.

  • 3.

    Once all research has been shared, have students use construction paper to make a replica of a Native American herb pouch. Fold a 9-by 12-inch sheet of paper in half. Fasten the sides together with Crayola® School Glue.

  • 4.

    Ask students to cover work area with recycled newspaper. With Crayola Washable Paints, decorate the herb pouches with Native American symbols. Dry overnight.

  • 5.

    Once herb pouches are dry, organize a nature walk with students. Find an outdoor area in which plant specimens can be collected. Take an herb identification book, herb pouches, and Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils and paper on the nature walk. Remind students to identify plants in the herb book BEFORE touching them. When certain the herb them is correctly identified and is safe to touch, snip off a small piece of the plant with Crayola Blunt-Tip Scissors, leaving the root intact.

  • 6.

    Using colored pencils, students create a written list of names and locations of different herbs, leaves, and plant specimens collected in herb pouches. Sketch each plant along side its name and location in the list.

  • 7.

    Look up traditional Native American uses of these herbs. Which are still used today? Compare findings with classmates.

Standards

  • LA: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SCI: Evaluate natural or designed objects to explain how the properties of the materials suit different purposes.
  • SCI: Observe and compare the many kinds of living things that are found in different areas.
  • SS: Demonstrate an understanding that different people may describe the same event or situation in diverse ways, citing reasons for the differences in views.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.
  • VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

Adaptations

  • Possible teacher resources include: The Children of the Morning Light: Wampanoag Tales as Told By Manitonquat by Medicine Story & Manitonquat; Native American Medicine by Nancy Bonvillain; From the Earth To Beyond the Sky: Native American Medicine by Evelyn Wolfson
  • Organize a school yard field trip to allow students to look for plant specimen that may have been used by the Native Americans as medicine. After the trip, students mount their choices to construction paper, name the plant, and identify how the Native Americans may have used the plant. Display students selections in the classroom for viewing.
  • Students research foods that are indigenous to North and South America. Ask local experts with Native roots to share information. Collect authentic recipes and prepare them for classmates.
  • Students \make a Native American mineral pouch. Take the class on a school yard field trip to collect rocks and minerals indigenous to the area. How might the Native Americans have used these rocks and minerals?