If You Lived in a Forest

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This activity encourages learners to focus on the natural environment of the Eastern Woodlands before the arrival of European settlers. Learners use pictures, stories and maps to help them understand this environment as they begin an inquiry into how Native Americans lived in woodland regions of the past. As a result, learners should be able to describe some of the natural resources that Native Americans used for their clothing, houses, food, tools and other everyday items. This activity is featured on pp.11-14 of the "One With the Earth: Native Americans and the Natural World" multidisciplinary unit of study for kindergarten through third grade.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • map of North America
  • masking tape or painter's tape
  • one or two sheets of poster paper
  • basket made from natural materials
  • construction paper
  • crayons
  • picture books, storybooks, magazines and reference books


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
    • Earth's History
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
      • Classification
    • Ecology
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and History

Informal Categories

  • Literature
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Native American

    • Acknowledges this group's contributions to STEM
    • Uses inclusive images of people from this group


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis,