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American Indian Homes in the Central Plains -- Fairway

Guided tour—Shawnee Indian Mission State Historic Site, Fairway


Students will travel back in time to learn about traditional American Indian homes, as they existed for the Cheyenne, Wichita, and Pawnee. They will compare the natural resources and methods the American Indians in Kansas use to build their homes. They will also observe models of three different Indian homes and make inferences about the Plains Indians’ life style (i.e., food and clothing, sedentary or nomadic, building materials).

Students will be introduced to a hands-on tipi building activity. Not only did the tipi reflect a use of natural resources, it reflected a cultural development of the Plains Indians.

This tour addresses grade specific Kansas history and reading standards and provides pre- and post-visit materials to help teachers meet those standards. Included within these materials is Read Kansas! lesson P-6, "American Indian Homes in Kansas." Teachers might also be interested in either of these educational resource trunks -  "Indian Homes in Kansas"  or "Uses of the Buffalo".

Standards addressed:

Kansas Standards for History Government and Social Studies

Standard #5: Relationships among people, places, ideas, and environments are dynamic.

  • 5.1The student will recognize and evaluate dynamic relationships that impact lives in communities, states, and nations.

Kansas College and Career Ready Standards

  • SL.1.3: The student will ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

Missouri Show-Me Standards--Second Grade

Social Studies Standards

  • SS 5 the major elements of geographical study and analysis (such as location, place, movement, regions) and their relationships to changes in society and environment.

Second Grade and Course Level Expectations

  • Compare and contrast the habitats, resources, art and daily lives of native American peoples, Woodland and Plains Indians.

Second Grade Communication Arts Standards

  • LA 0.1.4: Read grade-level instructional text with fluency, accuracy and expression
    • LA O.1.4.b Imitate repeating language patterns during reading (e.g., modeled reading, choral reading)

This tour is designed to complement the Read Kansas! Lessons I-6 and I-7 – Santa Fe and Oregon Trails.

Download PDF with tour information for Missouri schools.

Completed Tipi Activity

Length of tour:  approximately two hours

Number of students in a group: for the best experience, we recommend no more than 30 students per tour.

Registration and scheduling: Contact the site administrator, 913-262-0867; e-mail Shawnee Indian Mission. Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.

Other guided tours available at the Shawnee Indian Mission:

Jumping Off to the Oregon Trail

Traveling the Santa Fe Trail

Manifest Destiny and Its Impact on American Indian Culture