Lesson  Pictograph Stories
Content Area Social Studies
Unit People of Our Past
Objective Students will be able to:

  • write a story using symbols.
  • understand/explain how NA communicated/the language written and spoken
  1. Explain that before European settlers arrived, Native Americans often communicated and told stories using pictographs.  Back then they did not have an alphabet to write words, so they represented ideas in different ways.
  2. Show the pictgrpah and Petrroglyph photo card to illustrate your point.
  3. Discuss other ways that symbols like these were displayed (carved into rock, painted on hydes).
  4. Distribute copies of the NA Symbols activity page (6 of kit).  Discuss the symbols shown.
  5. Encourage students to think of their own original symbols for words that are not listed.  Draw and write these symbols on chart paper.
  6. Hand out copies of the Pictograph story reproducible.  Prompt students to write a story on the hide using the symbols.  Then have students write out the story below on the lines.
  • classset of pg. 6-7 of NA Activity Guide
  • Picture card of “pictograph”
  • colored pencils
Formative Assessment
  • Score the final product of their pictogrpah story.
  • Native American Symbol worksheet (read and answer the 5 questions)
Resources  All materials are from the NA Resource Kit

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