Anasazi Cliff Dwellings

The Ancient Pueblo People, or the Anasazi, are the cultural group often recognized as the ancestors to the modern day Pueblo people.

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They were a populous and thriving civilization that resided in cliff dwellings, comprised of adobe bricks, and constructed atop mesas, or against the edges of natural caves as the bases of canyons.

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To help solidify our understanding of this fascinating civilization, we created our very own Anasazi village!

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As your little ones participated in this activity, they were given several opportunities to converse with their classmates, and discuss the best way to manipulate their three dimensional habitats.

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Creating  historical structures provides a medium for learning that younger learners enjoy.

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These environments allow them to tell a story, stimulate inquiry and depict reality!

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L is for Longhouse

The Wampanoag tribe shared the first Thanksgiving feast with the Pilgrims. After arriving in Massachusetts, the Pilgrims were exhausted, following a two month voyage from England.

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Being severely weakened, many pilgrims did not survive.  They were unfamiliar with the harsh weather of the New World and relied on the Wampanoag Indians to teach them the land.

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This tribe combined bark and other plant materials to make their homes, called longhouses.  The inside of these longhouses had a dirt floor. The dirt permitted the use of a small fire to keep warm.

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To convey the complex history of the Wampanoag Indians, we created our very own longhouses.

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We first discussed the construction of the longhouse during circle time. Students then built two-dimensional longhouses out of craft sticks. Following, your little ones used flower foam, sticks, and wicker planters to create three-dimensional longhouse structures.

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Burlap Teepees

Young children are fascinated by the many dwelling places of the various American Indian tribes, and love to recreate the things they learn through dramatic play.

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What they enjoy more, however, is creating the materials that they use for the imaginary worlds they create. For this activity, we decorated teepees. Following their creation, your little one participated in small world dramatic play. Doing so contributes to their development in several ways.

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For one thing, it helps them work together toward a common goal. As they played with their teepees, they combined their worlds. Working together  like this teaches teamwork, fuels creative thinking, and also exercises your little one’s ability to use make believe as a means to integrate the information they have been introduced to at school.

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