Native American Printables

Free Printable Worksheets for Learning About Native Americans

Native American Printables
Marilyn Angel Wynn / Getty Images

Native Americans are the indigenous people of the United States, the people who were here before the European explorers and settlers arrived.

Native Americans lived in every part of the land that is now the United States, including Alaska (Inuit) and Hawaii (kanaka maoli). They lived in groups that we now refer to as tribes. Different tribes populated the various regions of the United States.

Each tribe had a different language and culture. Some were nomadic, moving from place to place, usually following their food source. Others were hunters or hunter-gatherers, while others were farmers, cultivating much of their own food. 

When Christopher Columbus arrived in North America, he thought he had sailed around the world and reached the country of India. He called the native people of America Indians, a misnomer that stuck for hundreds of years.

Native Americans are an integral part of United States history. Without the help of Squanto, a member of the Patuxet tribe, it's unlikely that the Plymouth pilgrims would have survived their first winter in America. The Thanksgiving holiday is a direct result of Squanto's assistance in teaching the pilgrims how to fish and grow crops.

Without the help of Sacajawea, a Lemhi Shoshone Native American woman, it's doubtful that famous explorers Lewis and Clark would ever have made it to the Pacific Ocean during their Corps of Discovery expedition.

In 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, forcing thousands of Native Americans from their homes and into land west of the Mississippi River.

There are currently over 300 Indian reservations in the United States where approximately 30% of the U.S. Native American population lives. 

Use the following free printables to begin to learn more about Native American history and culture.

Word Search - Farming and Much More

Print the pdf: Native American Word Search

Use this word search puzzle as a starting point to help students discover some of the terms important to Native American culture. For example, Native American farmers developed many of the techniques important for growing crops centuries ago. These techniques were later adopted by U.S. pioneers who settled the land on their westward expansion.

Vocabulary - The Canoe and Toboggan

Print the pdf: Native American Vocabulary 

This vocubuary worksheet contains many terms that are common today but originated thousands of years ago. For example, most of what we know today about canoe and kayak design comes from the native tribes still in existence in North America and around the world. And, while we might think of the toboggan as an essential piece of snow gear, the term comes from the Algonquian word "odabaggan."

Crossword Puzzle - The Pictograph

Print the pdf: Native American Crossword Puzzle 

Use this crossword puzzle to allow students to explore terms like pictographs. Native Americans "painted"  pictographs on rock surfaces using a variety of pigment materials, such as ochre, gypsum and charcoal. Some pictographs were also made with organic materials like the sap of plants and even blood!

Challenge - The Pueblo Culture

Print the pdf: Native American Challenge

Students can test their Native American word knowledge using this multiple-choice worksheet. Use the printable as a starting point to discuss the Anasazi, the ancestral Pueblo people. Thousands of years ago, these early Native Americans developed an entire Puebloan culture in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest.

 

Native American Alphabet Activity

Print the pdf: Native American Alphabet Activity

This alphabet activity gives students a chance to properly order and write Native American words, such as the wigwam, which Merriam-Webster notes is: "a hut of the American Indians of the Great Lakes region and eastward having typically an arched framework of poles overlaid with bark, mats, or hides."

Extend the activity by discussing the fact that another term of wigwam is "rough hut," as Merriam-Webster explains. Have students look up the terms "rough" and "hut" in the dictionary and discuss the words, explaining that the terms together form a synonym for the word wigwam.

Native American Draw and Write

Print the pdf: Native American Draw and Write

Young students can draw a picture related to Native American culture and write a sentence or short paragraph about the subject. This is a great time to fire up the internet and have students look up some of the terms they have learned. Show students of low reading level how to select the "images" option on most search engines to view photos of the ​terms.

Updated by Kris Bales