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Native American history for 7 yr old?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
A few months ago, my son expressed a desire to learn more about Native American history, which I really want to encourage. I have been having a really hard time finding unbiased books that do not repeat the same stereotypes and inaccuracies, which sadly doesn't surprise me. I guess I am looking for something like Howard Zinn for a younger child.
We are reading The Earliest Americans right now and learning about the theory of the migration across Beringea.
Anyone have any recommendations? I am also looking for early colonial history with a more objective viewpoint. Thanks!
post #2 of 15
We like the series A History of Us. When we were doing Native American history here, we also read through the Kaya books from the American Girl series.
post #3 of 15
500 Nations is a fantastic DVD series. Winter Promise has a Native American focus in there American Story 1 curriculum, you could check out there book list. If you lived at the time of the...Sioux, Iroquios,etc. More that Moccasins is a book of Native American Crafts that we used.

500 nations is actually on sale on Amazon right now for less than $30/ 5 disk series. I just ordered it, my son watched all five of these last year (he was 7 then).

If you find any other cool resources please keep us posted.
post #4 of 15
I'd be interested in other books as well - we'll be studying The History of Us but interested in more also.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions! I just put 500 Nations on hold from the library- looks interesting.
post #6 of 15
I would actually try and find a local powwow. This is a good time of year to look.
post #7 of 15

Joseph Bruchac

His books are great, but there is a wide range of both reading levels and age appropraitness, so you need to be careful but if you are attentive and selective he can be a wonderful resource.
post #8 of 15
We are currently studying Native Americans as well. My History of Us dvd has not come yet.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierramv View Post
500 nations is actually on sale on Amazon right now for less than $30/ 5 disk series. I just ordered it, my son watched all five of these last year (he was 7 then).
500 Nations is GREAT, and definitely tells the story more from the POV of the Native Americans. Let's face it, some things happened that were pretty brutal -- and I just wanted to warn you, OP, if your ds is very sensitive, you may want to wait until he is older and/or watch them first to see what you think. My ds watched the series when he was 8, and there were a few parts that were kind of disturbing to him. I will probably wait until my other boys are just a little older before I have them watch it.
post #10 of 15
I didn't find History of Us to be very good for NA history information.
post #11 of 15
I liked that History of US emphasized the diversity amongst the American Indian cultures. Some of them were quite violent and others were more "civilized" than their European counterparts.

For info about how they got here, I found documentaries to be much more enlightening than the books we've read. Of course, now I can't remember which ones... Probably an episode or two of Scientific American Frontiers (now in reruns on one of my local PBS digital channel, which comes through on rabbit ears).

There was one show that was really fascinating, that I *think* ran on the history channel, but it may have been a NOVA special, which was about the development of a certain type of arrowhead and what the timeline suggested about the migration of prehistoric peoples. That's not usually my cuppa tea, but I watched the whole thing, and then saved it to show DH some highlights. I MAY be able to dig up the title if I think about it long enough. I remember bits and pieces, and eventually, I may get enough details together to Google it.

I'll ask DS about any shows he would recommend, too. His focus would be more about the science (archeology) than the culture itself, but maybe that would interest your son would find it interesting, too.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by UlrikeDG View Post
There was one show that was really fascinating... which was about the development of a certain type of arrowhead and what the timeline suggested about the migration of prehistoric peoples.

I found it! It was on Nova. America's Stone Age Explorers Netflix has it, too. (Side note: Archaeologist David Kilby is cute. )

The entire Scientific American Frontiers series is available on the PBS website for free. I see that the episode Coming Into America is relevant. There are probably others, but that one caught my eye when I was looking up the episode guide.

Don't forget about local resources. History museums often have info about local tribes culture and customs, usually with at least a few hands-on exhibits for kids. I've even found demonstrations through my county parks system. Some landmarks may include permanent educational displays, but seasonal activities may be relevant, too. IIRC, the one we attended was mostly about geology/archeology, but they also talked about the cultures of the people involved (e.g., "We can tell that people camped here because of XYZ. Their teepees were this big.") with a teepee replica and flint knapping demo.
post #13 of 15
I have heard that Daybreak Star Cultural Center is a great place to visit in Seattle. http://www.unitedindians.org/
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
thanks for the great replies everyone!
I will definitely look into them all. I got 500 Nations and watched the first disk myself and was glad I did, the beginning graphic segment about Wounded Knee brought me to tears and it may be a bit too much for my sensitive 7 year old. I think the part where they say that after the hour of gunfire and cannons, the soldiers called out for anyone to come out who is still alive and that they will be safe and when a few children stumbled out, they killed them too.... that would really be hard for my son. Its hard for me. I still cannot understand the horror and cruelty, but I will teach him the truth. I explained to him how they start with Wounded Knee and told him the awful facts, and when we watch it I will ask if he needs to go past it. But it is so important to me for him to learn this history even if it is painful.

And yes, of course- the Daybreak Star Cultural Center- thanks for reminding me! Its been a while since we've been there.
post #15 of 15
For a very brief overview of various tribes, take a look at History Pockets. http://www.amazon.com/History-Pocket.../dp/1557999015. I started this with my 7 & almost 6 year old DDs & they're really enjoying it. Again, though, it's VERY basic. It's also pretty "craft heavy" with cutting & coloring to make the actual pocket of info so this is a consideration.
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