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, the Nez Perce, and Chief Joseph. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Chief Joseph topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching About Chief Joseph

Letter-Writing Campaign
Chief Joseph wrote many letters and gave speeches on behalf of the rights of Native Americans. Have students discuss issues that are important to them. They may be concerned about the environment or about school funding. Have them write letters to their local or state government leaders sharing their thoughts. You may want to review the Sending a Letter movie to brush up on letter-writing skills and format.

Who are some heroes or role models? Discuss with students. They can be a historical figure, a living leader, or even a family member. Have students choose someone they look up to and write a profile or biography about the person’s life and work. You may want to use the Biography movie for review. Have students draw pictures of their leaders or cut out photos to accompany their writings. Have students share their biographies with the whole class.

Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Chief Joseph

Tough Choices
Share a time when you had to make a tough choice. What was the situation? What did you choose and why? Then have your child describe a time when he or she had to make a tough choice. Your child can write down his or her thoughts about the topic in a diary entry or blog post. You might also want to talk and/or write about what your child would do if faced with the tough choices Chief Joseph had to make. Would you sign a treaty agreeing to leave your home? Would you allow your tribe to retaliate against the army? Why or why not?

Day in the Life
Review with your child that the Nez Perce covered over a thousand miles while they were outrunning the U.S. army. They traveled over dangerous mountain terrain during tough weather conditions. Have your child imagine he or she is a member of the Nez Perce tribe as they are retreating from the U.S. army. Have them write a short piece of historical fiction describing what life is like on the run.