Grade Levels: K-3

In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about Native Americans and the Cherokee. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Cherokee topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching About the Cherokee

Modified Stickball
If possible, play a game inspired by traditional Cherokee stickball! You will need a small, soft ball and stickball sticks. You can use small fishing nets or make your own stickball sticks by attaching small nets or paper cups to the ends of sticks. Place a small ornament on top of a pole or a makeshift pedestal. Then divide players into two teams. The players use their sticks to throw a ball at the ornament to knock it off. This game can be chaotic, so we recommend limiting the number of players on the field and/or having players walk instead of run. Another version you can play is to have players line up and try to knock off the ornament. After the game, discuss with your students. What skills did they learn or practice while playing the game? Why do you think the Cherokee play stickball? How might they have applied the skills used in playing stickball to hunt?

Clan Decisions

Remind students that the Cherokee are divided into seven different clans. These clans cohabit the same communities and have slightly different rules, but all members of every clan follow the rules of the Cherokee government. The clans often come together to make decisions for the good of the whole community. Divide your class into different clans and offer a decision for the whole class to make, such as when or where to have a class fundraiser or field trip, or simply which activity to do next. Have clans meet together and propose their decision to you, the principal leader. Then discuss with the whole class.

Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About the Cherokee

Plant a Garden

Remind your child that the Cherokee people grew and harvested corn, beans, squash, and other vegetables. If possible, plant a garden together. You may want to do research about different fruits and vegetables and learn what will grow best in your area. Plant your garden and label the section for each vegetable or plant. You may wish to write the plants’ names in both English and Cherokee, using an online English-Cherokee dictionary. Observe your garden and record how it changes over time.

Cherokee Picture Book

Remind your child that a Cherokee named Sequoyah developed a way to read and write the Cherokee language. There are several English-Cherokee dictionaries available online, including one hosted on the Cherokee Nation’s official website. Some have the Cherokee syllabary characters as well as the English pronunciation guide. Choose a few different Cherokee words and create a picture book together. You may need to help your child draw the Cherokee symbols.