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Project Archaeology: Wichita Indian Shelter in KS - Journal
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8.5 x 11 inches

Fourth Grade

The Wichita lived near the Arkansas River in central Kansas 500 years ago. They built large villages of grass houses on the great bend of the Arkansas River. They relied on natural resources to live on the prairie and used prairie grasses and trees for building shelters and for fuel.

This lesson begins with the mystery of the bone tool. From this evidence students use primary sources to draw their own conclusions, evaluating the results of in-depth research by archaeologists, historians, ethnographers, and descendants of native peoples. Students are introduced to Virgil Swift, a descendent of the Wichita people. The unit takes students through the step-by-step construction of a grass house, how such a structure was built, from what materials, and by whom. Students complete the unit by learning about the market economy: starting a local business, the benefits and costs of local materials, and building demand through marketing.

The consumable student journal offers students their own record of the activities included in the lesson.

Item #006989